First Reading: Sir 35:1-12; Psalm: 50. R. 23b; Gospel: Mk 10:28-31
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“But many that are first will be last, and the last first.”(Mk 10:31).
When we have attained certain level of success, there is that tendency to be complacent. If we wished to grow above our present successes, we need to be a little more ambitious. Ambition is not a vice. It propels us to grow and want more. But over ambition can be destructive especially when the focus is on fleeting realities. If however we wished to be over ambitious; it should be in pursuit of the eternal things of God that would lead us to heaven.
Peter needed Jesus to assure him he was going to be rewarded for choosing to follow him. When he said to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you;” he expected an assurance from Jesus that his sacrifice would not be in vain. Jesus of course assured him that no one who has left everything for the sake of the gospel who will not receive his reward in this time and eternal life in the age to come. But also went on to warn Peter that “Many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Mk 10:31). This was a serious warning to Peter and the rest of the apostle not to be complacent but ambitious about the things of God; else they would lose that first place which is the heavenly reward.
There is no place for complacency in doing the things of God. Once we lay our hands on the plough, we should not look back. There is every likelihood for a good Christian today to lose heaven tomorrow. If we are not consistent in doing the will of God always, we may lose our first place to those who abandon their old ways and choose to be consistent in doing good and living a righteous life. God desires those who are last to join those already in the first place; but definitely not the other way round. As followers of Christ, we need to heed to the warning of our master and show dedication and commitment in doing his will so as to retain our first place and gain heaven at last.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, we pray for the grace to be committed in doing your will always. When we fall, grant us the grace and courage to get up and continue on the right road. Amen.