Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said in reply, “Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Peter asks, “What then will we have?” Has Peter really left everything behind or has he simply traded it in, anticipating something in return?
The distinction between “leaving” and “trading” bothers me because I often find myself asking Peter’s question. When I’ve left behind homes, communities, friends, and jobs that I love, I usually manage to make it through because I’m bargaining with God in my prayer for a fair rate of exchange on what I’ve left.
Time and grace can make us a little more free, but I suspect that even my best efforts will never make me completely free. Maybe that’s why Jesus reminds us today about what we can do (the possible) and what God can do (the impossible). Where in my life do I need to stretch myself to greater freedom today? And where do I need to trust God to do what I can’t?
—Fr. Matt Spotts, SJ, is a recently ordained priest of the Midwest Jesuits serving as an associate pastor at Ss. Joseph-St. Francis Xavier parish in Wilmette, IL as well as doing pastoral ministry at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
—Suscipe of St. IgnatiusPlease share the Good Word with your friends!