Life Is Difficult But The Prize Is Great

Friday of Week 10 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

2 Cor. 4:7-15 & Mt. 5:27-32

After his conversion Saint Paul lived a very difficult and challenging life. Called by God to preach the Gospel he met much opposition and was disclaimed as a fake by some. It was a bitter pill for Paul but he continued in his zeal, going from place to place on long arduous missionary journeys, to proclaim the truth. Eventually he was arrested and suffered a martyr’s death.

What kept Paul going? He acted out of pure love for Jesus and His people, but he also believed that Jesus held out a promise to him that made everything worthwhile. As he states in today's reading, “We too believe and therefore we too speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by His side and you with us.” Paul’s faith was so strong that he really believed that God the Father loves us as He loved His own Son, and as the Father raised His Son from death to life so will He do this for all the faithful followers of Jesus.

In the Gospel today Jesus wants us to know that everything is worth sacrificing to preserve the treasure of God’s love which will raise us from the dead. The laws of marriage are difficult. Jesus knows that. The laws of purity of heart are difficult too. Jesus also knows that. But He asks us to think of higher values, to be like Paul, motivated by love with the strong incentive of the promise of the resurrection for those who are faithful.

Lord Jesus, as we journey through life meeting with opposition, like St. Paul did, let us keep our eyes fixed on the prize of Heaven God has promised those who follow the teachings of His Son.