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“Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, 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” (Mk 10 : 28-30).

This text comes after the refusal of the rich man in Jesus’ call: he is someone who wants to “receive eternal life by sharing” (v. 17). Jesus took the opportunity to deepen his teaching on the relationship between the Kingdom of God and riches. He does it after the second announcement of his passion and resurrection and before making this announcement for the third time. Jesus word’s are unambiguous.

“Let us search our hearts and we will perhaps find that they are not empty of all material interest, that they have not renounced all possessions, and especially the spirit of possessing, something which is incompatible with the spirit of the apostolate […] And remark that, in order to put one’s trust in the goods of this world, it is not necessary to possess much: it is sufficient to attach oneself to what one has” (De Brésillac, Retreat to missionaries, p. 141-142)

“When does ambiguity begins in the heart of a apostle-disciple-missionary? And when does he begin to get loss in the things that the world presents as true riches at the detriment of eternal goods? A thought from Mgr de Bresillac illumines us: “It happens when he not examines his heart” And: When our intimate relationship with Christ is choked by our inability to make our lives “a gift for others” and we close up ourselves in our own egoistic interest. When we are unable to live our experience of solitude as a privileged space of meeting with Christ and instead we fill our solitude with material things which all the time removes us from ourselves, from others and from God. When we remove ourselves from the suffering of the people to whom we were sent and when we are not in communion with the suffering of the world. When compassion is displaced by indifference which is a major evil of the modern world.

That is why “to examine one’s heart” means to remain in intimate contact with the fragility, the uncertainty and the transitory character of our life. It also means to remain in contact with the identity of our God who made himself poor to enrich our life with eternal things. This is what permits us to envisage our life “in the right way”. If on the contrary we close up ourselves, we die, even if we appear as living. It is about a life choice that we are called to make: between the way that leads to life and the one that leads to death. To have “abundant life in us” means to welcome the way indicated by Christ. That is where we find our most profound identity. Jesus teaches us to renounce all and to give ourselves entirely without reserve to the service of others.

In contact with the Word of God we learn to be poor in following the poor Jesus and to announce the Gospel of peace without carrying a purse, a bag, sandals, without putting our trust in money and in the power of this world (Document of Aparecida No 31).

In the generosity of the missionaries, the generosity of God is manifested. The gift of the Gospel appears in the generosity of apostles. Our life belongs to HIM alone”.

Ceferino Cainelli SMA  Angola


 previous articles : 

– 7 – Who is the greatest

– 6 – Do not trust every spirit…

– 5 – Like the Apostles… Filled with the Holy Spirit

– 4 – Like the Apostles…“Go thus all the nations…

– 3 – Like the Apostles… The supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus

– 2 – Like the Apostles… In communion withe Christ who sends us




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