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DO WE GIVE ALL FOR JESUS?

Father Francis's picture
Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Pet. 1:10-16 & Mk. 10:28-31

The role of a prophet is explained by Saint Peter when he says, “It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching for, their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you.” Out of love for God the prophets bolstered up the people with great hope that a new era would dawn upon the world.

That era has come in Jesus Christ, and we are the beneficiaries. St. Peter indicates what fortunate people we are when he says, "Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.” God and the prophets have done their part. Now we have to do ours.

We are expected to live up to the hope and expectation manifested for us throughout the Old Testament era. This is what St Peter has in mind when he writes, "Free your minds, then, of encumbrances, control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." Controlling our thoughts is a big task. It means being single-minded in our intentions, doing things only to please God. It means putting our trust in God and not in ourselves, and freeing ourselves from anxiety and useless worry. It means feeding our thoughts with good things and not rubbish.

St Peter continues, “Do not behave in the way you liked to before you learned the truth; make a habit of obedience.” Through our Baptism we have taken on a new identity as children of God and so there has to be a radical change in our lives. We must do what we are told to do, “If you love me” Jesus said, “You will keep my commandments”. Jn. 14:15.

The final exhortation of St. Peter is “Be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One Who has called you.” What a high ideal is set for us! But we can be sure that our loving Father has given us all the means at our disposal for achieving such holiness. God our Father feeds and cares for us by means of His inspired word and the Holy Eucharist. Let today be the beginning of a new era in our lives in which God our Father and His Son Jesus are at the forefront of our minds and dominate all that we think, say and do.

When the rich young man turned away disappointed, Jesus’ followers may have wondered what else they would have to do to enter God's kingdom.

Peter and his companions had given up all to follow Jesus. Peter wanted to know what reward he and the other Apostles would receive since they had freely accepted Jesus' offer to follow Him unconditionally. Jesus spoke with utter honesty. He said those who left all for Him would receive a hundred times more now, even in this life, as well as unending life in the age to come. But they were warned to expect persecution from those who opposed Christ and His Gospel.

Jesus is aware of every sacrifice we make for love of Him. Every time we decide to obey His commands, we enable Him to live in us. Every care and concern we show one another is a blessing to the Lord and a blessing to us. All our fights and struggles with our fallen nature – even the ones we lose - can be given to the Lord for eternal glory. Jesus is always with us, fashioning us for His glory.

So let us surrender our entire lives to Jesus, holding nothing from Him. He sees everything we do. He honours every decision we make to give up our old lives and follow Him. He sees every time we say 'No’ to temptation and every time we go out of our way to care for someone else. He hears every prayer we utter and sees every time we face the battle between flesh and spirit. Nothing goes unnoticed or unblessed. So let us give Him not just a part of ourselves, but our whole selves.

Lord Jesus, thank You for Your perfect love that casts out fear. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us even when we are unfaithful. Your love and faithfulness enable us to stand firm in the midst of temptation and hardship. Help us to give You every situation so that, more and more, You can dwell in us.

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