1P 1:10-15; Mark 10:28-31

The opening lines of Saint Peter's first Epistle are of a decidedly practical kind.   He does not begin as Saint Paul is accustomed to, by speaking of the nature of God and of Jesus, the Redeemer of our race.   Rather Peter opens with a statement regarding the most immediate issue confronting each of us, namely, our eternal destiny.   He formulates his concern in the following terms: "Beloved: Concerning the salvation of your souls the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it."   He continues at some length along this same line of though for he wishes to make a point that remains as applicable to us today as it did to the early Christians to whom he was writing.   He stressed that the prophetic message was not for the prophets themselves.   For, he declares: "they were serving not themselves but you."   And their message, he adds, you have heard from those who "preached the Good News to you through the Holy Spirit."   He characterizes the content of this revelation as being so sublime that it contains matter "that even angels longed to look."

Mark in his account of Saint Peter's very direct words asking Jesus what was the reward for leaving everything and becoming his follower gives our Lord's no less direct reply.   He promises that there will be a hundredfold even in this present life and eternal life in the world to come.   It seems that it was some later scribe, inspired though he was, who inserts the phrase "with persecutions."   Probably he was influenced by what had already begun to take place after Jesus' ascent into heaven.

Here at this Eucharist we are privileged not only to look into these mysteries, but even to receive the very person of Him who is its heart and life.   May this same Spirit of whom Peter speaks so warmly, so awaken our inner self that we become strengthened in our faith that even here the living Savior comes to make his abode within our most intimate self.

Abbot John Eudes Bamberger