I imagine, like the disciples, we’ve all found ourselves saying to God: “I have given up so much to follow you….What’s in it for me?” Far from selfish, this question is genuinely human.

In trying to live our lives as Christians we come to know sacrifice. We sacrifice our freedom, desires, and dreams when we commit to a vocation, a relationship, a job, or a child. We make material and physical sacrifices for the people we love. We sacrifice popularity, recognition, or acceptance when we stand up for what is right. In whatever form it takes, sacrifice is not comfortable or easy. It often seems a burden and a loss.

In today’s Gospel, however, Jesus flips our view upside down: paradoxically, sacrifice leads to joy, contentment, and fulfilment. A meaningful and rich life comes through putting ourselves aside for others. And each time we do, God promises fulfillment one hundred times over.

In what ways has God blessed you through the commitments you’ve made? Ask God today for the grace of seeing your sacrifices in a new light.

—Aaron Pierre, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Wisconsin Province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.