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The Last Shall Be First

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 10:28-31
Today is Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. In keeping with tradition, some of us will devour pancakes and syrup, a last splurge before Lent. However, the Gospel reading leading up to Lent is much more sober. Peter reminds Jesus that the disciples have given up everything to follow Him. Seems like Peter is worried. He is really asking, “Have we given enough?” Jesus encourages Peter and His disciples, promising them eternal life as a reward and then adds, ”for the last will be first and the first will be last“. Another divine paradox to rattle our brains. Nothing Jesus says really makes sense to our Western sensibilities. In fact, most of the sayings of Jesus did not make sense to a first century Eastern mind, either, and so the gospel of Mark repeats this phrase twice more, just so it sinks in. continue reading>