God will always give us more than we can imagine...
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 10, 2021): WIS 7:7-11; PS 90:12-13,14-15,16-17; HEB 4:12-13; MK 10:17-30
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Francis embraced a life of poverty and acts of charity, trying to do and to be all that Christ had preached and lived.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples watch an encounter between Him and a rich man who wants to know how to gain eternal life. He says he already obeys the Ten Commandments. But when Christ offers him a place among His followers if he gives his wealth to the poor, he leaves in sorrow. His possessions mean too much to him. In fact they possess him. This is the only time in Scriptures that we see anyone turning down our Lord’s invitation. Jesus tell those with Him about the way wealth can come between people and the kingdom of God. The disciples must have been confused when told that God alone can save us. They have dropped their old lives to follow Jesus – surely that must count for something. “Peter began to say to Him, ‘We have given up everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for My sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come” (Mark 10:28-30).
All who follow Christ gain a great deal here on earth and in heaven. More, indeed, than they could ever conceive. If belief in Jesus means losing loved ones and possessions, there is a new family in faith now and life everlasting to come. This must have reassured those with Jesus – and early Christians who, like us, hear the words of the Gospel. They realized that suffering or persecution could be part of a disciple’s life. This was not something to be taken lightly then or now. Today, many places in the world make life extremely difficult for Christians to live their faith openly. Even for those free to attend church, some aspects of life can be hard in a society focused on the secular. Let us resolve to rely on our Lord, to pray for all Christians and, especially, for the Church’s missionaries.
Suggested missionary action: We can commit to spreading the Gospel. We can do this through our example and by sharing our faith with others in our own community and around the world.