1 Peter 1:10-16
It was this salvation that the prophets were looking and searching so hard for; their prophecies were about the grace which was to come to you. The Spirit of Christ which was in them foretold the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would come after them, and they tried to find out at what time and in what circumstances all this was to be expected. It was revealed to them that the news they brought of all the things which have now been announced to you, by those who preached to you the Good News through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, was for you and not for themselves. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances; control them, and put your trust in nothing but the grace that will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. Do not behave in the way that you liked to before you learnt the truth; make a habit of obedience: be holy in all you do, since it is the Holy One who has called you, and scripture says: Be holy, for I am holy.
‘What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.
‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’
“Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”
Many times I’ve come across sayings such as “if Jesus were to appear in front of me…” or “if I’m able to see a miracle, I will change my life…”. I’m not sure if you have heard or said some of these words before. Because many of us think that we have never had a tangible encounter with Christ, we find it hard to ‘give up’ our lives to someone we do not know, to a future that is uncertain, to a reward that may actually be nothing.
As we read in the first reading, many of the prophets in the Old Testament were unable to meet Christ face to face nor see his miracles, yet they preached and sacrificed their lives to prepare the way. They believed, and they hoped.
We also know of the disciples of Jesus, who even though they left their nets and followed Him, witnessed His miracles, ate and drank with Him; when it actually mattered the most, they left Him and even denied Him. But it’s also then that we see the faithfulness of some of the women of Jerusalem, where it was uncertain if Jesus would actually rise from the dead, if He was actually the Christ, yet they still stuck by Him all the way.
Indeed, we do not realise how blessed we are to already know that we have this salvation which has already been won for us by Jesus Christ. We also do not know of how envious many souls and angels are when they see us being able to receive the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist at every mass.
When we think of reward, it is usually linked with doing well in, or for a particular task. But this reward is not just for the first or the last, but really for each and everyone of us, an invitation to His heavenly kingdom, to receive the salvation that has already been won for us.
Let us continue to grow this faith and our trust in the Lord, to be able to surrender our possessions and intellect, to allow Him to lead and guide, to walk in His footsteps. For Christ came to serve, and not to be served. Christ came not to do His will but for His Father’s will to be done. Let it not be ‘I’, but Christ who lives in me.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for courage, to learn how to die to ourselves and our desires so that you will be able to use us to build your kingdom. Help us to glorify you in all we say and do.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for your messengers in the past and in the present. Bless us with your wisdom for us to make good choices and to be able to listen to your voice.