1 Peter 1:10-16
God’s Generosity: It’s Real!
Today’s Gospel selection follows upon Monday’s selection which featured Jesus dealing with the rich young man who wanted everlasting life: he had kept the commandments, but was unable to give away his goods and follow Jesus. Peter is likely watching the young man walk away, and comments to Jesus about himself and the few others who had left everything to follow Jesus: "what will there be for us?"
Jesus replies with a promise of a hundredfold return to those who give up everything to follow Him – both now, and eternal life in the age to come! Peter’s eyes must have opened wide when he heard this promise of houses, and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands – now! – and the best of life in eternity.
No doubt about it: no human can outdo God’s generosity…God’s generosity is unlimited! In following Jesus, God’s generosity includes becoming part of God’s extended family. Life is shared – and as Jesus subtly points out and witnesses in his own life: persecution is also part of the "inheritance".
We 21st century disciples sharing in God’s generosity are encouraged by St. Peter in today’s first reading: gird the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes on God’s grace – in short, reflect God’s life and be holy!
These encouraging words of Jesus and Peter are offered us on the "doorstep" of the annual season of spiritual renewal called "Lent". We seek to follow Jesus in the nitty-gritty of our daily lives, and we are generously blessed with gifts in abundance. The practical side of living for Jesus may include some "bumps" and "sufferings", but being part of God’s family helps us gain strength to keep our spiritual focus and "stay the course" of discipleship.
May we each be blessed as we seek heartfelt renewal as we live for Jesus in the 21st Century! May Lent 2014 be a grace-filled experience of renewal in our prayer and our generous service of our sisters and brothers. God’s generosity is real!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.