1Phil 3:8-14; Ps 16:1B-2A, 5, 7-8, 11; Mt 19:27-29
All the saints come to the same conclusion that Saint Paul came to—we come to the truth that relationship with Christ makes everything else “so much rubbish.” Saint Clare of Assisi, friend and follower of Saint Francis of Assisi, discovered that the LORD is her portion and her cup. Nothing can limit or contain the fullness of the glory of the Lord. Only the Lord can be the cup, to contain the portion that he is. Every other vessel will overflow and break wide open by the mystery of Christ. Indeed, we are so transformed that we become one with Christ so that we can bare the full weight of his mystery. As the saints teach us, we are divine by participation in the divinity of Christ. We are not gods, we are merely human, but it is this mere humanity, this clay pot, and this broken vessel, into which the Lord chooses to place his own mystery. Being one with Christ we contain within that which alone quenches the thirst for God. Indeed, participation in the mystery of Christ enables us to say—taste and see how good is the Lord!
The righteousness of the Pharisee that Saint Paul knew in his heart of hearts it the righteousness of self-importance because by obedience to the Law of Moses he was hastening the coming of the New Age, the arrival of the Kingdom of God. This kind of self-righteousness is impossible to maintain and eventually the weak will of the self-righteous slides into sin. The most likely of failures, for the Pharisee would be the very pride of self-righteousness. Saint Paul struggled fiercely with this demon. “I do the very things I do not want to do—who can rescue me from this misery?” Only the love and mercy of Christ can set us free from the impossible task of saving ourselves. It is this liberating knowledge of our salvation in the divine gift of the Blood of the Lamb that alone can heal us, forever! This is the gift of redemption that brings joy to the heart of Saint Paul, Saint Clare, and each one of us called to be saints, called to share in the very glory of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Saint Peter asks this question of Christ: “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Such honesty is painful for Saint Peter and for his companions that day. However the answer is even more painful. Not only will you have more, abundantly more, “will receive a hundred times more” and eternal life too. It hurts to question the Lord Jesus. How could we expect anything else from him? Not only that, we are to sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Nothing else compares with the glory we are promised. Only the Lord himself could make such a promise. This is the way the synoptic authors hide and reveal the true human and divine natures of the Word Made Flesh and dwelling among us.