We Cannot but Speak
We cannot keep this gift to ourselves.
Only recently did I notice in today’s gospel passage how “one of these things is not like the others”:
“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 (Mark 10:29-30).”
While describing great things that a disciple will receive, Christ adds PERSECUTIONS to the list. Come again?
I can think of several reasons why I had failed to notice the persecutions mentioned in this passage:
My life is privileged. My day-to-day reality is not that of someone facing persecution.
Even though the persecution of Christians continues, we hear almost nothing about it in the mainstream media.
While the challenges are real, the gifts are more abundant. The more I let go of my many possessions and follow Christ, the more I experience the hundredfold he describes.
And I want others to experience such abundance. Or at least I tell myself that. But then I fear, even if the “persecution” that might come is being seen as a religious weirdo.
October is a month when Catholics celebrate and support the work of missionaries. It’s a good reminder that we are all called to be missionary disciples. When we have received so much, how can we not speak?