Mk 10:28-31 The Haves and the Have Nots
Peter began to say to Jesus, “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, with persecutions, for my sake who will not receive a hundred times more now and eternal life in the age to come.”
We have given up everything to follow you. I love Peter because he shoots from the hip. He reminds me of myself; at least, when he is talking like that.
This comment (which is really a disguised question) is long overdue. I’m sure it wasn’t just on Peter’s mind. I’m more than certain it was on the minds of the Apostles from the very beginning, or at least, when things started taking a turn for the worst. Do you remember the conversation John had with the other Apostles regarding who was the greatest? Do you recall when James and John asked the Lord to have the privilege to sit next to him when He entered His glory?
Well, finally, someone spoke up. Finally, Peter said the unthinkable. Finally, someone admitted to being “human” and asking “What’s in it for us?” Is this on your mind as well? It shouldn’t be! For we already know the answer.
Well that isn’t Christian! We shouldn’t be asking these types of questions or making these types of calculations!!! We should be kind and loving and considerate to others simply because it is the right thing to do. It’s just not right (or Christian) to be asking for something in return.
What a bunch of nonsense! What’s not right? To ask and to receive? To seek and to find? To knock and be allowed to enter? What’s not Christian? To go to Heaven? To receive an amazing grace? To follow the Lord who came down from Heaven and made it back up?
What’s wrong with that? Really! I’m not embarrassed to say that I want to go to Heaven. I’m not even embarrassed to say that I forgive only because the Lord forgives me. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m being kind to someone because I would like to make it to Heaven one day.
Notice the response the Lord gives to all his Apostles. He doesn’t tell them to go fly a kite! He doesn’t even tell them to stop asking these types of questions. He tells them the truth; that is, that doing what is right is also good, and what is good is always blessed, and what is blessed is to give and receive.
How far are you willing to go? How much are you willing to let go of? When I left for the seminary, I really thought that I had given it all away. But I hadn’t. I actually shoved quite a few items in my pockets. I kept my front pockets full of doubts and fears. I kept my back pockets full of excuses and calculations. And it has taken a long time to remove most of these things. It is amazing how they can create so much suffering!
While I was in Italy, I met a wonderful old lady that went to Church every morning. She was holy except for the fact that she never really believed in God or in Heaven. As if to encourage me, she would often come up to me and say, “God, if he exists, must really love you!” or “Heaven, if it exists, is just waiting for you!” I didn’t know what to tell her. What could I tell her? “Yes…I hope it all exists.”
What has the Lord revealed to his little ones? I think it is this: You get what you deserve and a ton more. Of course, no one can earn their way to Heaven, but we have to try as if we could. “Be holy because I am holy, says the Lord and writes St. Peter (Pt 1:16).
We have given up everything to follow you. In response to Peter’s “question”, the Lord could have said to him, “And I have given up everything to be with you.”
Although God created us with beautiful eyes, Christ’s prayer for all of us is that we start observing the world – His Creation - through His eyes. The world is not made up of the haves and have nots. The world is made up of those who give and do not.