The readings pose a question for us:
What price are we willing to pay in following Jesus Christ?
Many of us change our buying habits,
because we don’t want to do business with companies that mistreat their workers,
or whose advertising promotes immodesty,
particularly to young people.
It can mean letting go of things, such as some sports activities,
because they keep us from coming to Mass
on Saturday evening or Sunday.
Others will think less of us or criticize us as being weak
when we hold back from harsh judgments against others,
or we are too generous and forgiving.
It is not easy to practice chastity in this culture;
I am filled with admiration for our families
who make so many sacrifices to welcome the gift of life with a new child,
and to make sure their children know Christ comes first in all things.
We have so many who generously share their talents,
their time and their treasure,
for no other reason than to make things better
in their parish, their community,
and the lives of other people.
Another way to look at it is this:
In many places in the world, following Jesus
is extremely hazardous.
In Saudi Arabia, simply having Catholic Mass is illegal.
We would be arrested.
In North Korea, we might well end up starving
in a forced-labor camp.
There are many places in the world
where our fellow Catholics go to Mass on Sunday,
only to face angry mobs burn down their churches.
Our Lord told us it would be very, very costly to follow him.
We do it because we are convinced—as Peter was—
that Jesus alone is the Savior of the World,
who has the Words of everlasting life.
He is the Pearl worth giving up everything to have.
What price are we willing to pay in order to follow Jesus Christ?