MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
The disciples’ payment
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
23, 5 June 2013)
Suffering is part of life; but for Christians who are called to follow the
very way of Christ, it has an additional value. Especially when it comes in the
form of persecution, because the spirit of the world does not tolerate Christian
witness. This sums up the Pope's reflection at the Mass he celebrated in the
Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Tuesday morning, 28 May. Commenting on
the day's Gospel (Mk 10:28-31), the Pontiff meditated on Jesus' dialogue with
the rich young man who asked him how to gain eternal life. He recalled that
Peter had listened to Jesus' warning about wealth, which makes it “so difficult
to enter the kingdom of God”.
After hearing the Lord's words, Peter asked him: “all right, but us? We have
left everything for you. What will be our recompense? What will our reward be?”.
Jesus' answer perhaps “is a little ironic: but of course, you too and all who
have left house, brothers, sisters, mother, children and lands will receive a
hundredfold”. He warns that they will have to face “persecution”, described as
the wages, or rather “the disciples’ payment”.
Jesus assures all those who follow him a place among “the family of
Christians” and recalls that “we are all brothers and sisters”, but warns that
“there will be persecutions, difficulties”. Then, returning to the theme:
“whoever follows me, must take the same route that I took”. It is a way, the
Pope explained, which leads to humbling oneself and which “ends on the Cross.
There will always be difficulties and persecutions that come from the world, for
he took this path first. When a Christian does not have difficulties in life and
all goes well, something is not right”. One might think that he succumbed to the
temptation to follow the spirit of the world instead of Jesus. “Let us ask for
this grace: to follow Jesus on the path which he has shown to us and taught us.
This is beautiful: He never leaves us alone, never. He is always with us”.
Concelebrating with the Pope, among others, were Archbishop Rino Fisichella
and Archbishop Josť Octavio Ruiz Arenas, respectively President and Secretary of
the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Also present were
their collaborators in the Dicastery, workers from the main thermoelectric power
station and carpentry workshop of the Department of Utilities of the Governorate
of Vatican City State.