“Peter began to say to him, ‘Lo, we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions (μετὰ διωγμῶν), and in the age to come eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.’” (Mk 10: 28-31)

Indeed, we receive “a hundredfold“ of whatever we have had to let go of, or have had to “leave,“ for the sake of Christ and for the gospel, already “now in this time.“ But we also receive “persecutions,“ either from within ourselves or from outside, or both. And, whether we appear (to ourselves or others) to be “last“ or “first,“ – “losers“ or “winners“ – in the here and now, as we serve His word, our Lord relativizes the importance of our earthly status and says, “many that are first will be last, and the last first.“ So, if we’re comparing ourselves to others today, either positively or negatively, our Lord puts our minds to rest on that account and says: Stop it. Because He alone will be the judge of that.

Thank You, Lord, for liberating us from the fear of being “last,“ in the here and now. “May Your mercy be upon us, O Lord, according as we have hoped in You“ (Ps 32/33: 22), and not in “princes or the sons of men.“ (Ps 145/146: 3)