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May 29: Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Reading 1 Peter 1:10-16
Gospel Mark 10:28-31

“Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

St. Mark the Evangelist doesn’t offer details about Peter stating that Jesus’ disciples have given up everything to follow Him. But Jesus surely reads Peter’s heart before replying. Jesus is speaking to us disciples in the 21st century, as well. He offers a direct explanation of the logic of discipleship, and then sums up His teaching with a brief saying that we can meditate upon at length.

Is there some regret in Peter’s heart as he lays bare the sacrifice he’s made to follow Jesus? Jesus explains that both in this world and the next, a disciple’s sacrifice bears fruit. In “this present age”, material sacrifices are compensated by the superabundance shared in by the church. All the more, “in the age to come”, eternal life with Jesus is the consequence of following Him. Jesus’ logic lays bare what St. Francis of Assisi expressed in his canticle: “It is in giving that we receive, and in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

Jesus gives us a brief saying to sum up the logic of discipleship. “Many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.” This seems to respond to Peter by saying: love your God and neighbor first, and your neighbors will care for your earthly needs, and God will care for you eternally in His love in Heaven.