This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
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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…”
Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent. So before we begin, it’s important to figure out what we should do.
Attitude. “What are you going to do for Lent?” is an important question. “Why are you doing it?” is just as important. I wouldn’t say attitude is everything, but I definitely wouldn’t say it is nothing. Attitude is something. And it is an important something.
From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like Peter had the best attitude when he gave up everything to follow the Lord. In fact, it almost sounds like he was complaining a bit. Little did he know what the Lord would give up for him. [That's another story and we'll save it for another day, but I think you understand what I'm saying.]
There’s no use trying to be a saint if you’re going to complain all the way to heaven. So to live Lent the right way we have to have the right attitude. And what’s the right attitude? Cheer.
Peter’s attitude sounds a lot like some people we know from Sacred Scripture.
A. The eldest son in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
[Peter] “We have left everything to follow you. What then will there be for us?”
[The eldest son] “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”
In both cases, the one who had the most to lose, the Son and the Father, responded in kind to both.
[Jesus to Peter] “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…”
[The Father to his eldest son] “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
B. The Rich Young Man
[Rich Young Man] “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
[Jesus] “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
We all know how that encounter ended. The young man’s face fell to the floor. He went away sad. But not so with the Apostles. Having accepted Christ’s initial challenge, they went away as happy as can be.
They were willing to sell all they had in order to purchase the field with the treasure buried underneath it.
Are you ready to make that purchase?
Lent is a time for reflecting, not for mourning. It is a time of contemplation, not of consternation. The sacrifices and almsgiving we commit to during the forty-days of Lent must produce smiles on our faces and on those around us, not because we are earning our way to heaven, but because we are experiencing the effects of His love. And love is what keeps us together. Love is what gets us to heaven. Love is of God’s desires.
Let’s bring some cheer to all our sacrifices and giving. Why? Because giving is the best way to living.
So let’s make a living out of giving!
Remember: Be confusing. But don’t get confused. (74)