The golden thread that runs through today’s readings could probably be summed up in this phrase: God will not be outdone in generosity. In the first reading from Sirach 35, we read “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means. For the Lord is one who always repays, and he will give back to you sevenfold.”
In our Gospel reading from Matthew 19, we hear the conversation between Jesus and the disciples in the aftermath of the rich young man encounter. Peter asks the question about everybody’s favorite radio station: WII FM…What’s In It For Me? Jesus assures him that the rewards will be great. “Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.”
It’s a natural question, really. What’s in it for me? We’re so used to having a business mindset today. We want to make sure we get a good ROI – return on investment. I’m sure the rich young man didn’t see much of an ROI. Give up EVERYTHING? For what? To be persecuted, ridiculed, beaten, maybe even killed? Doesn’t sound like such a great deal now, does it? And if your thinking is fixated on the flesh, you would be right. But look a bit further out. Like to eternity. When you do that, you’ll find out that what’s in it for you is far greater than anything you could ever dream of.
Father, help us to stop asking what’s in it for us. Rather, teach us to ask, “What else can I give?” Amen.