The Upside Down Kingdom

( A commentary on Mark 10: 28-31)

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Daily Reflection – 5/25/2021

Sacred Scripture

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 for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (Mark 10: 28-31)

Reflection

I smile at the Peter who followed Jesus but had yet to fully comprehend the message. Here he is again. He is incredulous at Jesus’ latest statement. After all, Peter and the other disciples had already given up everything to follow Jesus.

He doesn’t understand that when Jesus asks us to give up something, he doesn’t intend to strip us from it but to detach us from it so that we may relate to it in a way far more united to him. When, for example, a wife begins to love Jesus more and serve him above all other goods, it doesn’t mean that she will love her husband less, but more and better. When a young man or woman decides to leave a career and enter into a consecrated life to serve God, it’s not that they’ll have less love in their life, fewer friendships, fewer family members, but they will gain a much greater family through spiritual paternity or maternity and in general many more friends that he would have had otherwise.

Jesus is making the point that that it is far too common for us to forget our purpose on earth and by hook and crook, start amassing more and more wealth above what God has given us. When we do this, we forget to love, serve, praise and glorify God and start worshipping and serving our wealth, earthly powers and influence. We tend to start owing so much allegiance to human beings like our rich family members, rich politicians or our businesses at the expense of the least of our brothers and sisters who we have been sent to serve.

Wealth is good if you know how to use it to serve God, but excess money and wealth without a defined way of how to utilize it in doing God’s work, is bad. It is the reason why Jesus Christ says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God. This is because many wealthy people think that because they have money, they do not need God anymore.

The destiny that God wishes for us is that, since we came from Him during creation, we should return to Him on the last day where we will receive our reward for the good work, we did for Him here on earth. When we detach ourselves from possessions and persons, he makes it possible for us to do the impossible with God’s help, to have God thread us through the eye of the needle into eternity. That’s the great desire of us all, to live forever in happiness with God, and Jesus today promises that that will occur when we are willing to pay the price.

Prayer of The Day

“Lord Jesus Christ, I love You and wish to serve You will all of my heart. Let not the things of this world drive me away from You and let me stay focused on the final reward – eternal life with You.”

Daily Note

In place of material wealth, Jesus promised his disciples the blessing and joy of rich fellowship with the community of believers. No earthly good or possession can rival the joy and bliss of knowing God and the peace and unity he grants to his disciples. The Lord wants to fill our hearts with the vision of heaven and with his joy and peace.

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