Twenty-eight Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 14, 2018)

In the closing minutes of the movie Field of Dreams, the character of Thomas Mann is invited by the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson to come “out” with the team. Ray Concella is incensed. Why is the writer invited instead of Ray? Ray launches into a litany of all the things that he has done in following the promptings of the “voice” and ends with the statement: “Not once have I asked what’s in it for me!” The ghost inquires: “What are you saying, Ray?” Ray responds: “I’m saying, what’s in it for me?”

How honest. How revealing. How human.

We hear echoes of this same refrain in St. Peter’s statement in today’s Gospel: “We have put aside everything to follow you.” Implied? “What’s in it for us?

The truth is that the Good News never seems to let up. Even as we grow in our love for God, ourselves and others the Good News always calls us to give more, to go deeper, to press on. Truth is, the Good News sometimes doesn’t feel so good.

No wonder we sometimes ask the questions: “What more do you want? Why should I do this? What’s in it for me?”

What’s in it for us is a twofold promise. First, we come to know the joy that comes with being more concerned about giving than receiving. We experience the freedom that comes with allowing God to penetrate all – not just some – of who we are. In short, we experience the wealth that is only known by generous people.

Second, we live each day with the belief that we shall one day enjoy God’s generosity forever in a life that never ends.

So, what’s in it for us? How about purpose, meaning and direction in this life? How about the fullness of these – and so many other gifts – in the life to come?

Now that’s Good News!