Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus mentions two rewards for discipleship, but we tend to forget about one of them. Christians know that a reward awaits them in heaven, but how many recognize the Church as our reward here on earth?
Why do we overlook the Church as our reward? Jesus says it is “a hundred times more” than anything we could give up for him, but it does not always feel that way.
Families are the sum of the people and the love within them. Certainly, Christ gives the Church all of his love, but do we do the same? Perhaps, if we did, it would be easier to see the Church as our family.
Imagine what our Church would look like if we really treated each other as family. If we want a Church like that, then we need to follow Christ’s lead and love each other as brothers and sisters. Only then will we realize that the Church is truly our reward and home.
Do I treat the Church as a family and a home? How I am working to make the Church a home not only for myself but for everyone in it?
—Stephen Kramer, SJ, is a Jesuit deacon of the Central and Southern Province currently finishing his Master’s degree in Theology at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. He will be ordained to the priesthood in June.
Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
united in perfect love,
as you look upon us with mercy and caring,
we consecrate our hearts,
our lives, and our Church to you.
We hope to have, with your help,
the unity and strong,
enduring love you gave to one another.
May our Church be filled with joy.
May sincere affection, patience,
tolerance and mutual respect be freely given to all.
May our prayers be filled with the needs of others,
and may we always be close to your Most Sacred Hearts.
—Prayer to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary