Jesus promises disciples who sacrifice for His Gospel will receive extraordinary rewards. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Sacrifice so he can habitually sacrifice himself to follow Jesus and by seeking the Fruit of Patience from the Holy Spirit so he can sustain sacrifices in the face of suffering. 

Liturgy

8th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Mk 10:28-31

Commentary

After the Rich Man refuses to follow Him, Jesus reveals that it is nearly impossible for those attached to wealth to enter into Heaven. Alarmed, the disciples worry about their own salvation, wondering, “Who then can be saved?”; Jesus replies “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”  

Still worried, Peter, speaking for the Apostles, says, “Lo, we have given up everything and followed you.” Peter’s claim reveals the disciples are not yet fully formed in Christ: the claim sounds like a boast; while they have given up possessions, they have not yet given up everything (their lives); the disciples are still squabbling for honor (Mk 9:34); they still resist suffering and the Cross (Mk 8:32).  

Jesus does not rebuke Peter directly, but makes a promise that both inspires, and warns of the persecutions of discipleship. Jesus reveals that those who give up possessions (home, lands) and family (father, mother, brother, sister…even children) for the Gospel will be rewarded in the present age (with fellowship and peace) and with eternal life. He confirms that disciple’s motivations for sacrifice must be pure, “…for My sake and the sake of the Gospel.” In the rewards, Jesus slips in “persecutions”, a revelation and warning that suffering will come, but that persecutions will ultimately be seen as blessings (the Cross). Summing things up, Jesus confirms “the first” (like the Rich Man) will be last, and “the last” (like the self-sacrificing Apostles) will be first.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by the chance to hear Jesus, with Divine Knowledge and the perfection of Justice, reveal the truth about men and their salvation: as the Son of God, Jesus has Divine Knowledge through which He mysteriously reveals the challenges and outcomes of the salvation of men; He reveals that each man is subject to Vindication by God (a part of Justice by which punishments and rewards are given appropriate for a man’s thoughts and behaviors), some who cling to materialism and fail to be generous will be punished (not allowed into Heaven) while those who generously sacrifice for Jesus will receive both temporal (in this life) and eternal rewards. 

Make daily sacrifices to pursue Jesus

Realize: As all great adventures start with simply beginning to walk towards a destination, the path to sainthood begins with a choice to spend one’s life with Christ and to take small steps of sacrifice each day to draw closer to Him.  

Believe: Reflect upon Life in Christ (CCC 1691-1698), Prayer (CCC 2558-2565), Sacred Scripture (CCC 133, 144, 1437, 2653), and the Sacraments (CCC 1127-1134). 

Pray: Jesus, Savior of Man, help me build the Virtue of Sacrifice (a part of Justice) so I seek to build my life in You, make small consistent daily sacrifices of my time and attention to draw closer to You in prayer, Scripture and the Sacraments, and find the peace and happiness of spending my life with You. 

Sustain sacrifice with the Fruit of Patience

Realize: The Christian disciple’s life of sacrifice proceeds in steps: sacrifice leads to suffering; suffering leads to sorrow; sorrow is endured with patience; patience is strengthened by the Spirit. To sacrifice, every Catholic man must seek to grow in patience with the help of the Spirit.

Believe: Reflect upon Patience, a Fruit of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1832).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Patience so I grow in patience to endure the suffering and sorrows that come from sacrifice for Christ, and I am able to draw ever closer to Jesus each day.