Thursday, March 6, 2014
“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you're not really losing it. You're just passing it on to someone else.”
“My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice, these are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words, I know it by experience.” – St Thérèse of Lisieux, The Little Way for Every Day: Thoughts from St Therese of Lisieux
Gospel Text: (LK 9:22-25)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
The path of Jesus Christ can be summarized in three words: suffering, dying, and raising from the dead. These three aspects of Jesus life constitute the journey of every Christian, to turn from selfishness and to become a person who lives for others. This lifestyle means taking up our cross each and every day and following Christ. There is a big difference between knowing about Jesus in books and actually following him by doing what he taught in our daily life. No matter how a person spins it, if we decide to follow Jesus Christ, life will be full of sacrifices (in a worldly sense).That is the cold hard truth.
If we choose not to deny ourselves and do not take up our cross, we are only seeking to affirm and be ourselves; we want «to save our life», as Jesus says. Yet, by wanting to save it, we will lose it. On the other hand, those who, because of Jesus, do not strive to avoid their suffering and the crosses which come with living the Christian life will save their lives. It is the resulting paradox of our following Jesus: «For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?» (Lk 9:25).
Our Lord's words, closing today's Gospel, tremendously shook St. Ignatius Loyola a little over 500 years ago and sparked off his conversion which led him to found the Jesuit order: «What would happen if I would do just as St. Francis and St. Dominic did?». If only, in this Lent, the same words would help us to reach our conversion, too...!
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 7:00 AM