March 1, 2022
by Molly Mattingly
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 348

1 Peter 1:10-16
Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4
Mark 10:28-31

Praying Lent

A Mardi Gras Prayer...

An Audio Conversation for the First Four Days of Lent - 23 min. - Text Transcript

What Is Fasting and Abstinence?

Cooking Lent
Recipes for Ash Wednesday,
all the Fridays of Lent and for Good Friday

Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! Today’s readings provide a somewhat telescopic view of Peter’s journey of faith. We hear his words to communities following Christ after the Resurrection, then we affirm that we are one of those communities (“Yes, the Lord has made his salvation known!”), then proclaim that God reveals the mysteries of the kingdom to “little ones,” and finally arrive towards the beginning of Peter’s journey, as he was following Jesus.

“Peter began to say…”

It sounds like he had more to say, but Jesus answered him after the first sentence. What would the second sentence have been? Remembering yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus has just told them that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples asked, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus answers, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” In other words, we cannot save ourselves.

If I were Peter at that point, I might have thought, “Well… won’t we who are following you be saved because we chose to follow you? It wasn’t an easy choice, if I’m being honest. And you keep telling us that it’s not going to get easier. I left so much behind to do this – my wife, my family, my house, my boat and my nets, everything I knew how to do. We all gave up so much to follow you. And I know you’re the Messiah, but I’m starting to wonder that if choosing to follow you and sacrificing what feels like everything isn’t enough… what if God decides not to save me after all that? Will it be worth it?”

And Jesus tells him, even before he’s finished asking, in the easiest language for Peter to understand, that it’s worth it and he will get everything back in abundance that he’s given up. Looking back at the first reading, we might see how the seed of that conversation flourished in Peter years down the road. At that point he’d witnessed the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the martyrdom of his friends. He writes telling other followers, “Everything we have been told by prophets in the past and everything we have witnessed points to this: it is worth it. Stop acting like you did before you wanted to know God; act like you want to know God by following Christ’s example.”

Many of us are probably fasting from something during Lent. It will probably not be on the scale of Peter leaving behind his family and livelihood, or Jesus freely giving his life for us. But what might Peter’s words offer us today, as we begin this season? Perhaps encouragement echoing through the centuries that if we give or fast from a desire to know God better, our small sacrifices will be worth it. We are called to holiness and the example of Christ, as members of the body of Christ.

Out of Darkness” by Christopher Walker

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