In today’s Gospel reading, we hear that Peter said to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.”

Jesus responded and 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.”

Let us put ourselves in the place of Peter and the Apostles. Think about all they gave up for Jesus. They gave up jobs. Some gave up family and friends. They gave up their safety. And nearly all of them gave up their lives. Throughout the three short years that Jesus walked with them and taught them, they got to know him. They watched him perform miracles. They understood his heart. And they truly believed that he was the Son of God.

If they did not believe this, then after his death, they would have gone back to their normal lives. They certainly would not have given up their lives for someone who was just a man. No, they knew he was God.

Today, God asks that we put him first in our lives. He asks that we have no idols before him. Idols can be anything from money to material goods to vices to social media.

Do we spend more time on TV or on our phones than we do in prayer? Do we skip Mass because we are too busy or because there’s a game on that we want to watch instead? Do we forgo building our relationship with Christ because we are focused on the things of this world?

God doesn’t ask us to totally give up all material things or pleasurable times, but he does ask us to put him first. And if we truly knew him, we would want to! So we have to ask ourselves, Do we really know our Lord? 

Think about it this way. When we really know a good friend, we want to spend time with that person. We do things to make them happy. We go out of our way to brighten their day. It should be the same with God. So let us vow today to put him first in our lives and to make time for him every day. And not just the few sleepy moments before bed, but quality time—our first fruits. 

There are lots of ways we can do this. Get up ten minutes earlier each day. Take a break at lunch. Turn off the radio in the car and pray. Go on a daily walk and talk to God. Read the Bible. If we want to improve our relationship with him, we will set aside time each day to do so. 

Look at all Christ gave up for us. What will you give up for him?

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