24th May

What comes FIRST in our lives? Is it close family ties, land, possessions, wealth orJesus-is-Lord something else? For a Christian, it is something else – Jesus and the Gospel. One of Jesus’ titles is Lord, not like someone from the House of Lords but like the title that the Old Testament gives to Yahweh – God. It is a divine Lordship!

The Reformation martyr St Thomas More understood this well. As chancellor he had been the second most important person in Britain. When he disagreed with King Henry’s divorce and take over of the Church he was convicted of treason. While in the Tower of London he had to resist the pleas of his wife and daughter who wanted him to give into the King’s demands and return to his previous position. Just before his execution he said: I die the King’s good servant but God’s first.

Putting Jesus and the Kingdom first is the main point of today’s gospel (Mk 10:28-31).

‘What about us?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life. Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’