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 peace of the Lord be with you.
The ways of God are not intuitive to us. As we see in our Gospel reading today, it’s very often the exact opposite of how we may think about things. How often do we associate gaining life by giving life away or sacrificing?
Today, Jesus assures us that it is exactly these types of actions that assure and give us life. He also assures us that this way will not be easy — that there will be challenges that each of us will face. Given how life works, we will face challenges one way or the other, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel that our challenges are actually leading us to life and freedom?
May God give us the grace today to face those challenges and to recognize that he is walking with us every moment and every step of the way.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.