Daily Gospel Reflection for March 4, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 10:28-31

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. In keeping with tradition, some of us will devour pancakes and syrup, a last splurge before Lent.

However, the Gospel reading leading up to Lent is much more sober. Peter reminds Jesus that the disciples have given up everything to follow Him. Seems like Peter is worried. He is really asking, “Have we given enough?”

Jesus encourages Peter and His disciples, promising them eternal life as a reward and then adds, “for the last will be first and the first will be last“.

Another divine paradox to rattle our brains. Nothing Jesus says really makes sense to our Western sensibilities. In fact, most of the sayings of Jesus did not make sense to a first century Eastern mind, either, and so the gospel of Mark repeats this phrase twice more, just so it sinks in.

Right after this passage, Jesus explains His statement by using a parable. The parable is about a farmer who hired different men throughout the day to work his field. Each man agreed to be paid a certain amount of money for his work but those who work barely an hour receive the same payment as those who labor all day. Seems unjust.

Yet in the context of the passage, the phrase “first will be last and the last will be first” does not mean one person gains more honor than another. It means there is no advantage, status, or honor in God’s kingdom.

God loves everyone with the same boundless love because it is not what we do that matters, it is who we are, children of God. A Western perspective looks at deeds, jobs, actions, and outer appearances. A heavenly perspective looks at the heart and soul of each person, irrespective of how they look from the outside. It is only through the eyes of the world that there is any one who is first or last because God does not judge us like that at all.

 

Ponder:

How does your Western training distort your view of those around you? Do you see with the eyes of heaven or the eyes of the world?

Pray:

Lord change our eyes to look upon your children with your mercy, love, and forgiveness. Change our values to Gospel values.

Copyright 2014 Melanie Jean Juneau

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About Author

Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for your reflection today Melanie – after a very difficult few days of work related stuff, it’s a helpful reminder to keep my priorities straight. The small challenges we face are really nothing compared to what those early Christians knew. And we have those lines of the gospel that read, “Amen, I say to you,
    there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
    or mother or father or children or lands
    for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
    who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age”
    I need to keep my eyes on the beauty of what lies ahead. I need to focus my strength on helping others to know and to love Him too. Thank you for helping me to focus my prayers today. Blessings for a beautiful day.

  2. Amen! Well said. It really does make all the difference in the world when we change our perspective to God’s perspective. There is not one day of sufferring that I would change because when I look back, I can see that everything has brought me closer to His heart

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