The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jose Honorio Mateo SVD (Paraguay)
Tuesday Week 8 Ordinary Time
A HUNDREDFOLD NOW AND ETERNAL LIFE IN THE FUTURE! That is the reward for those who have given up everything and followed Jesus. And something more; PERSECUTIONS! Vale la pena?
“A hundred times” is a hyperbole to emphasize the generous reward. It means that after renouncing family ties and earthly possessions, one who decides to follow Jesus may experience personal relationships, friendships, care, concern, even material support and financial help from the community.
A hundredfold means receiving much more than one has ever given up. “Eternal life in the future” is what we all long for after our life here on earth. That is heaven‘! That is paradise! “Persecutions” as part of the reward reminds us of the Beatitudes: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
In economics, cost and benefit analysis is a useful tool to evaluate proposed projects. In following Jesus, an analysis of the cost and reward may also be of help. One renounces many things, gives up relationships and even loses oneself. That is the high cost of following Jesus. But it also has its own rewards. In all, the rewards outweigh the cost. It‘s worth it! Vale la pena!