Gospel: Mark 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.”
“We have given up everything to follow you.”
The early desert fathers were clear that simply giving up possessions meant nothing as long as the spirit of acquisition still lodged in their heart. As one of them, Abba Moses, noted, “There are those who have given away worldly wealth of gold or silver, and who are afterward agitated about a knife, a pencil, a pen, or a pin.” He scoffed at St. Peter, the one-time fisherman, and his boast to the Lord, “We have given up everything to follow you.” As Abba Moses observed, “It is clear that they had given up nothing but their miserable broken nets.”
When we relinquish an identity based on acquisition, a sense of self based on what we own and have, then our lives are rooted in a completely different scale of value. The grasping ego never has enough, and it is constantly vulnerable to loss. With open hands we have nothing to lose; we can rejoice in what we have received. This spirit of poverty allows us to rejoice in what is given to us. Thus, St. Francis embraced “Lady Poverty” as his bride —the most beautiful bride in all the world. Those who pursue this route will have their reward—but not as the world counts it.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019