Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

(Sirach 35:1-12; Mark 10:28-31)

What Jesus says is true. People who commit themselves to a vocation as a priest or religious often receive several times more than what they give up. Moving away from relatives as a young woman or man may be wrenching, but priests and religious typically find themselves in communities which becomes like a second family.

There are other blessings associated with religious life. Above all, religious and priests develop a closeness to the Lord. All Christians should pray, but those who publicly dedicate themselves to the Church have daily occasion to seek the Lord. By meditating on how God painstakingly prepared His people for His Son, how Jesus lovingly lived and died, and how the new People of God eagerly accepted him as Savior, priests and religious come to trust Christ as both Lord and brother.

Ministry for priests and religious can also be particularly meaningful. They usually assist well-intentioned people needing guidance in the quest for holiness. Speaking about Jesus brings great satisfaction as they are describing one whom they love. Finally, Jesus assures his disciples that those who serve him faithfully will receive eternal life. He means that not even death will separate them from the joy of his companionship.