First Reading: Hos 14:1-9; Psalm: 51 R. v. 17b; Gospel: Mt 10:16-23
THE GRACE TO FOLLOW
BY FR VALENTINE NAMMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The apostles of Jesus all had something doing before Jesus chose them. They were hardworking men who earned profits and enjoyed the company and love of friends. But when they chose to follow Jesus everything turned around. The vocation of preaching the gospel was a non-profit enterprise. The choice of this vocation meant the denial of pleasure, comfort and the social life they previously enjoyed. They were now faced with persecution rejection and hate. This new reality was not a funny one.
Jesus even compounded the whole issue by telling them of the impending persecution they would face for choosing to follow him. This was hard to take. Imagine men who left the comfort of life to follow Jesus, only to be rewarded with poverty, hostility, persecution, and imprisonment. Why would these men make this kind of choice despite the consequences? What was the secret behind their motivation? It was grace. What kept these men going was divine grace and genuine desire for the salvation of souls with the hope of heavenly reward.
This genuine desire for the salvation of souls and openness to divine grace should guide the decisions of every follower of Christ. If we treasure all the good things that life offers us, we will consider ourselves foolish to venture any other path opposed to this. But if we look beyond the challenges of following Jesus to see the reward that lies ahead, we should be encouraged to follow despite the pain it may cost us. Facing unpleasant experiences for the sake of Christ is the mark of every true Christian. If however we persevere to the end, our reward is certain.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to follow you. Amen.