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 are “last“ or “first“ in the here and now, even in our own Church, 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 are “last,“ say, as women and laymen are in the Church today, we have our Lord’s consolation, if we choose to embrace it, of His, rather different, vision of the “first“ and the “last.“

Today I thank You, Lord, for the quiet rewards of “leaving“ certain someones and certain things, as well as the “status“ attached to them, to follow You in my imperfect way. Let me not slip into a concern for any of that, which is left behind, even if I come in “last“ in so many ways, 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)


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