Gospel: Mk 10:28-31
Peter spoke up and said, “We have given up everything to follow you.“ Jesus answered, “Truly, there is no one who has left house, or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake, and for the gospel, who will not receive his reward. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution, he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time; and, in the world to come, eternal life. Do pay attention: many who now are the first will be last, and the last, first.“
Avoid Sin and Do Good
Keeping the Law is good. Sirach tells us that to be faithful to the Law is to be at peace with God. But it is interesting that Sirach does not refer only to the avoidance of breaking the Law, like “not stealing“ or “not killing“ or “not committing adultery.“ He also considers the doing of good as part of keeping the Law! So he also speaks of charity and almsgiving, of kindness and generosity. Being faithful to the Law is not only “not doing evil“ but it is also “doing good!“
We cannot appear before the judgment seat of God empty handed. He says so clearly “Do not appear before the Lord with empty hands.“ When we appear before God we must be able to show that we have duly given our “tithes,“ that is, we have generously fulfilled the Law of Charity and remembered our neighbors. We must remember that on our Final Examination Jesus will ask only one question: “What did you do when you saw me hungry, and thirsty, and sick, and homeless, and naked, and in prison?“
Would that when we do appear before our Divine Judge we may receive a merciful judgment!