Once Peter asked Jesus, “We have left family, land, and houses for the sake of the kingdom. What is in it for us?” The response of Christ is, “He will receive much more family, land, and houses in this life and in the life to come.”
In my 18 years of priesthood, one of the most humbling experiences is how priests are considered family by so many people:
- How priests get to join so many families in their ups and downs in life
- How priests join families in the milestones of their lives
- How priests celebrate with families when they welcome a new member by birth or marriage
- How priests mourn with families when they say goodbye to a member either by migration or even in transition to eternal life.
During the time of Jesus, his popularity increased through his preaching with authority. The miracles that he would do, the sick that he would cure, and the demons that he would drive out, were all contributors. Hence, many wanted to be his family. The response of Jesus is, “Anyone who does the will of the Father is family.”
What then is the Will of the Father?
- First, his Words. God gave us his commandments, ten of them. Then Jesus emphasized two of the most important – “Love of God, Love of neighbor.” Also, in the bible are the many teachings, warnings, and commandments of God and Jesus. Anyone who obeys these does the Will of the Father.
- Second, Mission. When Jesus was on earth, He would always say, “My Father’s will and not my will.” In other words, when we are faithful to the Mission God has given us, we become Family.
- Third. Eternal Life. “For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day.” The teaching of Christ about eternal life is, “Whatever you do to the least of your brethren you do unto me.”
If there are any reasons why we are “leaving” our lives for our faith, it is not the will of other people, it is not the expectation of society, but only the will of God. Obeying his commandments, being faithful to his mission, and desiring eternal life.