Reward a Hundredfold

Mark 10: 28-31
1 Ptr 1:10-16 / Psa 98

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 life . . . and in the age to come eternal life.
(Mark 10: 29,30)

Lord, help us give to You our best
In this mission where we are called;
With persecutions as our test,
For us to gain a hundredfold.

Peter began to say to Jesus, “Lord, 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 [i.e., on earth], houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many that are first will be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:28-31)

Reflection

It may seem difficult at first to understand what our Lord Jesus meant when He said those who have left everything for His sake and the Gospel would receive a hundred times more than what he has given up in this life as well as in the next. We must consider His words in the context of His conversation with the rich young man who could not follow Jesus because of his great wealth. His message seemed to be that His disciples would receive something much more valuable than all the possessions of that rich man who had walked away.

We must also realize that Jesus’ words were more figurative than hyperbolic. He was not referring to material things, which are in fact of little value compared to the spiritual which is everlasting. When His followers in the early Church received the power of the Spirit and experienced the vision of His glory, as St. Peter and the apostles did on Pentecost, or St. Stephen before his martyrdom (Acts 7:55-56) or St. Paul on his way to Damascus (Acts 9:3-20), they were all willing to give up everything, including their lives in exchange for the powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit, which included rapturous joy and pervading peace, and the challenge of spreading the Good News of salvation that their Savior first proclaimed.

There is something so irresistible in taking up a challenge for the sake of the common good, or for the glory of God, especially when we put our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. It had seemed foolhardy as first when I accepted the job of heading the operation quick-count of Namfrel in our city barely a week before the elections in 2007, with no clear assurance of adequate funding to support the volunteers in the field and in the computer and tabulation centers. It was purely out of trust in God’s providence that we believed assistance would be forthcoming. On the day before the elections, a member of our running club gave the moral and financial boost that we needed when (“out of the blue”) he pledged to donate 600 dinner packs from his fastfood restaurant. Another member volunteered to supply all the distilled water for coffee and drinking that we needed, and still another provided a big supply of 3-in-1 coffee. But I believe it was the Lord Himself who gave the greatest reward for our efforts – the little miracle of accomplishing 80% of the tabulation and remittance of the election returns in less than a week after the elections, way ahead of the Comelec and all the other provincial chapters of the Namfrel. We were the last chapter to be organized, and yet we were one of the first to finish the job.

It is not money or material resources that assure the success of whatever mission we are appointed to do. It is our full trust in God, Who will reciprocate our faith with a miracle that will enrich that faith even more. For it is when we are “poor in spirit” that we become rich in God’s glory. “As for the rich in this world, tell them not to be proud, and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth, but rather on God, Who richly furnishes us with all things to enjoy. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, liberal and generous, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, that they may win the life which is true life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

Thank you, Father for the little miracles that You manifest in our lives; they increase our faith in Your Providence, and draw us closer to You and Your Son, Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

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