Monday, July 11, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 19:27-29

Our Holy Father Benedict, Solemnity – Matthew 19:27-29

On this Solemnity of Saint Benedict, the Gospel is from the middle section of the story of the rich young man.  The man approached Jesus and asks Him: “What must I in order do to have eternal life?”   Peter was with Jesus and he listened intently as Jesus responded to the rich young man.  Jesus bluntly told the man:  “Go and sell everything you have.”  When the young man realized what Jesus was telling him to do, the man turned and walked away from Jesus.   He simply could not conceive of giving everything away.   Jesus then turned to His disciples and solemnly told them how difficult it was for a rich person to gain entrance to heaven.

Peter had listened intently to what Jesus had said to the rich young man and he thought seriously about Jesus’ response to the man.  After a time Peter approached Jesus and said to Him:  “Master, we have given up everything to follow you: family, job, and security.  What then will we have?”

Jesus looked at Peter and the disciples said: “When the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you will sit on the twelve thrones of Israel and you will judge the twelve tribes of Israel.  If you give up family or home or land for my sake, you will be given a hundred times as much.  You also will have eternal life.”  Then Jesus added: “Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first.”

Following Jesus typically is not an easy path;  however, it is a path that has led multitudes of people to great joy, peace, and inner freedom.  No matter what we truly desire, what we want the most typically demands commitment and great faith.  Take a moment and think back over your life.  When in your life were you happy?  What was your life like during that span of time?  Who was in your life?  Was God at the center of your life?

Jesus longs for us to come and follow Him.  On this Feast of Benedict, may we follow Jesus’s example and give our all.  It may be difficult at times; however, there also will be many moments joy, peace, and happiness.

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