Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 16,24-28
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.”
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Following Jesus Christ
The first point we’re going to reflect on is “come after me”, as Jesus says. Following Jesus means that He is the centre of your life, He is your role model. If you are following Him, it’s because he has led the way, and still does. This implies that you will go through different situations just like Him. You have been called to proclaim the truth and to live in the truth. Yes, to proclaim and to live in truth. You know that you will witness miracles. But if you follow Jesus, it also implies that the Cross will be present in your life, that you might suffer your friends’ betrayal and that many things will hurt you. But remember that if you go after Jesus, it’s because you’re going to live, to resurrect. It’s not only the Cross and the Passion, it’s also Resurrection. And if you follow Jesus, you go through moments of Passion, but also of new life.
The second point, to save and to lose, to lose and to save enter the picture. This is what we’ve been talking about recently. You have to lose something to be saved, you can’t have everything in life. Life is marked by renouncements and that demands giving something up. It’s losing something to save yourself. I remember a priest who had to make the decision to leave his parish. It was the best move that he should leave the parish and devote time to studying, to save his priesthood but above all to save his time of prayer, to save his spiritual life because he had dedicated himself so much to apostolic work, that he had lost out on prayer time. It was really hard for him to leave the parish but later on he realized that he used to talk so much ABOUT God that he didn’t talk WITH God. It good to lose out on moments to find THE moment and save one’s soul and save others. There are things that you gave to forfeit to save yourself and others. Perhaps you have to give up some whim to spend more time with your children and your wife. Or what also comes to my mind for example are people who pass up a trip or a party to save their family or their job, or to earn inner peace. Saving your inner peace is essential. Are you willing to lose something to save yourself? Or do you want everything in life?
And the last point is actions: “Show me how you live, and I’ll tell you how you think.” That’s the phrase that has resonated with me for a long time. Your actions identify you. Nowadays, we are so immersed in noise and words that we really need to see actions, concluded works. And I’m not referring to politicians whom we complain about because they talk a lot and do very little – I mean you. We complain about the corruption of politicians, but you and I can be corrupt as well in the sense that we can talk a lot and do very little. We should no longer speak so much; we should rather act and work in silence. Because it’s not a question of acting and telling everyone about every tiny action we do. Let’s work in silence. Actions speak louder than words – words are carried away by the wind.
May God bless you and be with you in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. …and do not forget: Heaven is Our Goal!