Homily — 28th Sunday OT B 10-11-09

Homily — 28th Sunday OT B 10-11-09

“We have given up everything and followed you” Peter said to the Lord Jesus.

To which Jesus replied “Peter, all that you have given up by following me – houses, relatives, children, land – you will receive a hundred times that in this life.”

When Peter decided to follow Jesus, as Jesus reminded him, he gave up houses – that dream of one day having a big expensive house to call his own.

In return, Jesus gave Peter a house a 100 times better, he gave Peter the Keys to the House of God, the Church.

When Peter decided to follow Jesus, he gave up relatives, gave up living the easy life with his brothers and sisters. He could have chose not to follow Jesus, and instead spent all his life lounging about with Andrew and the rest of his clan at the beach resort on the shores of Galilee. Instead, Peter gave up the easy life, and instead sacrificed much of his leisure time praying and learning about Jesus and working for the spread of the faith.

And because Peter gave up an easy life with his brothers and sisters, Jesus gave him 100 times as many brothers and sisters in Christ. And Jesus also made his relationship with his biological brothers and sisters such as his brother Andrew a 100 times better than it would have been had he not given up everything and followed after Jesus.

Peter gave up everything – even as Jesus mentions, his own children. Not that St. Peter disowned his children or gave them up for adoption, but rather Peter gave his children to Jesus, instead of pampering and spoiling them as he and his wife would have been inclined to do, Peter instead taught discipline to his children and raised them to know love and serve the Lord.

In doing so, Peter as a Dad received a hundredfold of blessings when he saw his children fully grown and fervently following Jesus according to he and his wife’s good example.

And finally, as Jesus mentions, Peter gave up lands or Kingdoms for the sake of Jesus. In Peter’s case, the lands he gave up were really seas. Peter in his fisherman days probably dreamed of one day having a fleet of fishing boats under him, he probably aspired to be the most successful fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, maybe of even doing deep sea fishing in the Mediterranean.

But Jesus had other plans, as the hymn goes, Jesus gazed into Peter’s eyes, and called his name, and all Peter had he left on the sand to follow Jesus, walking by faith he knew not where to.

And in return for the lands or seas Peter sacrificed, Jesus gave Peter the Ocean of Mankind to Sail in, Jesus made Peter the Chief Fisher of all Men.

And in exchange for his tiny boat, Jesus made Peter Captain of His Enormous New Ark which is the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the bark of Peter, which rides the stormy seas; and unlike the Titanic, God won’t ever allow this ship to sink, no matter how stormy it gets out there.

Lord, “We have given up everything and followed you.”

May you Lord Jesus be our one and only possession in this life. May we cling to nothing – no person, no place, no thing, no title, no position, no reputation – may we cling to nothing but you, that we may truly possess a hundredfold of all these things in this life, with blessed persecutions for being your disciples, and eternal life with our loved ones in the age to come.

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