When’s Payday?

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By Deacon Bill Hagen
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

A reflection from the Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2019 Gospel according to Mark 10:28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and -followed you.” Jesus said, “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: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

Peter says, “We have given up everything to follow you.” His next comment, before Jesus interrupts him with “Amen, I say to you,” would have been “So, when’s payday? Where’s the reward for our sacrifice and where’s this kingdom we keep hearing about?”

Peter is a practical man and he wants to know if his investment in Jesus is going to pay off. Peter gave up his boat and nets, he left his family and now he’s finally asking, in earthly terms, what’s in all this for me? Impressed with the words of Jesus and his ability to cure the sick and perform miracles, Peter has been following Jesus waiting for a return on his time, his temporary loyalty and efforts, promised from the start. Peter continues to think in human terms and has yet to fully grasp the Divine Mystery of which Jesus speaks.

We refer to the original apostles as saints, but Peter, like the rest of them, is just an ordinary man, like most of us. He has the same fears and weaknesses and flaws as all of us and is unable to connect future unseen rewards with present day struggle and sacrifice. Living in the poverty of his service to Jesus, he is unable to elevate his thoughts beyond the existing physical world. It isn’t until the third day that Peter, like so many others, are finally able to assemble all the pieces of Jesus’ message and comprehend the coming rewards for being faithful.

Let’s be honest, Peter is one us, unable to fully comprehend Jesus. We can’t walk on water, we deny Jesus when our comfort zone is breached, and we hide behind locked doors for lack of faith. We have rolled the dice and continue to cringe as we await the final tumble of the die. Jesus speaks of a hundred-fold return, but in this life that sounds like a con and a scam.

Like Peter, we want to see proof in this life of the eternal reward and not get caught up in idle promises of “trust me” we so often hear from those who claim to speak for the divine. Faith is free to all, but we have to ask for it.