"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" Mark 8:36
18th Week in Ordinary Time: Friday 9th August 2019
Deut. 4:32-40; Ps. 77(76):12-13,14-15,16 and 21; Mt. 16:24-28 (Ps Wk II)
When we say we are followers of Jesus Christ, does it mean we live life differently? Jesus says, “If any want to become My followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.” (v 24) “Deny … Take up … Follow.”
To “deny” ourselves is to look at our desires and ask, ”Will what I want, is what God wants for me? To “take up” our cross is to ask ourselves at each crucial moment, “Can I bear the burden of this sacrifice — of my security, comfort, reputation, consolation, resources?” and say “Yes” for the love of God?” To “follow” Christ is to look at our agendas in life and ask, “Will this fit in with Christ’s agenda”
Jesus says, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it” (v 25). When are those times that we “save” our life and when we “lose” our life? Pope Francis says, “unless we wish to sink into an obscure mediocrity, let us not long for an easy life” and brought up Jesus’ reminder of the persecuted who “struggle for justice, because they take seriously their commitment to God and to others.” (On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World — Rejoice and Be Glad, #90, p 40)
Remember what Jesus said, “For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?” (v 26). A solemn reminder not to “gain” in worldly possessions and recognitions, and “forfeit” our authentic life in Christ.
Lord, Your follower am I.