REFLECTION/HOMILY FOR (TUESDAY) EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME. MARCH 05, 2019

Today’s message is an extension/complement of yesterday’s Scriptural lesson. As we reflected yesterday, ‘salvation is both absolutely free and yet it costs one’s very life’. Here comes a paradox: How can something be both free and costly at the same time?”  The Scripture is very clear; to be a disciple in the real sense of the term means that a person must pay a price. This price is known as ‘sacrifice’ – giving up ‘something lesser’ (which often serves as distractions) in order to achieve something greater of eternal worth – the reward.

Having learnt the lesson of the difficulty involved with the cost of being a disciple (the case of the rich young man), Peter in today’s Gospel (cf. Mark 10:28-31) goes back to the decision he made the day he left a fishing business to follow Christ on the shores of the Sea of Galilee; he also speaks for the other disciples who also left wealth and fame and family to follow Christ. According to him, “What about us? We have left everything and followed you.” They have no more to give but their all. At this, Jesus says, “I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life. Here, Jesus is basically promising three things. First, he is saying that the disciples—and we who follow Jesus today—can’t out give God. God will bless them and us far more than we could ever give up for him. Second, that doesn’t mean that the followers of Jesus will have easy lives on earth—there will be persecutions. Finally, he promises eternal life. In other words, their sacrifices for their faith will be far overshadowed by the blessings they will receive from the heavenly Father.

Dear friends, are you truly sacrificing something for the sake of the Kingdom of God? What have you offered to God out of love? Do you know that your sacrifices will never go unrewarded? To buttress this fact, the holy Sage in the First Reading (cf. Ecclesiasticus 35:2-15) explains, “…A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable, its memorial will not be forgotten…Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously as your means can afford; for the Lord is a good rewarder, he will reward you seven times over…” To support this truth, today’s Psalmist {cf. Psalm 49(50):5-8,14,23} reflects God promises to show His salvation to the upright who sacrifice their resources to Him – in the last stanza, it reads “Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God and render him your votive offerings. A sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.” Above all, let this sacrificial giving be done in love, for St. Augustine tells us that if the giving up is for love, we’ll receive back everything simply by discovering what it is to really love – eternal life.

Shalom!

© Rev. Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith.

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