This Sunday’s Gospel (28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mk 10:17-30) was the passage through which I heard my call to enter the Conventual Franciscans. In this passage, Jesus looks on the man who ran up to him “Loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking one thing, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’” Twenty-seven years ago, I discerned that Jesus was saying these words, not only to that man, but to me.
After years of praying on this passage, I sold all I had, my house, my car and possessions, I gave all my savings and retirement to the poor, and I joined the Conventual Franciscans. This may sound like a big sacrifice, but in reality, it was not. It was the best investment I ever made! It has “bought” me Joy, Peace, and has given me a purpose to live. It has made me a better person, and opened many adventures I would never have dreamed of, and I am sure there is still much more to come. In fact, this is really what the passage promises if we continue to read. “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’”.
I have certainly received many times more than I gave up; Franciscan Brothers, even Franciscan Sisters whom I have been blessed to know, houses to live in at the High School and Parish, and certainly Mothers and Fathers and even Children among the many I minister to, especially in the Parish.