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The disciples’ payment

· Morning Mass at Santa Marta ·

Suffering is part of life; but for Christians who are called to follow the very way of Christ, it has an additional value. Especially when it comes in the form of persecution, because the spirit of the world does not tolerate Christian witness. This sums up the Pope's reflection at the Mass he celebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae on Tuesday morning, 28 May. Commenting on the day's Gospel (Mk 10:28-31), the Pontiff meditated on Jesus' dialogue with the rich young man who asked him how to gain eternal life. He recalled that Peter had listened to Jesus' warning about wealth, which makes it “so difficult to enter the kingdom of God”.

After hearing the Lord's words, Peter asked him: “all right, but us? We have left everything for you. What will be our recompense? What will our reward be?”. Jesus' answer perhaps “is a little ironic: but of course, you too and all who have left house, brothers, sisters, mother, children and lands will receive a hundredfold”. He warns that they will have to face “persecution”, described as the wages, or rather “the disciples’ payment”.

Jesus assures all those who follow him a place among “the family of Christians” and recalls that “we are all brothers and sisters”, but warns that “there will be persecutions, difficulties”. Then, returning to the theme: “whoever follows me, must take the same route that I took”. It is a way, the Pope explained, which leads to humbling oneself and which “ends on the Cross. There will always be difficulties and persecutions that come from the world, for he took this path first. When a Christian does not have difficulties in life and all goes well, something is not right”. One might think that he succumbed to the temptation to follow the spirit of the world instead of Jesus. “Let us ask for this grace: to follow Jesus on the path which he has shown to us and taught us. This is beautiful: He never leaves us alone, never. He is always with us”.

Concelebrating with the Pope, among others, were Archbishop Rino Fisichella and Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas, respectively President and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Also present were their collaborators in the Dicastery, workers from the main thermoelectric power station and carpentry workshop of the Department of Utilities of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

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