“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
Jesus often uses parables to teach, and in turn we often need to ponder the teaching a bit to understand its meaning. In today's Gospel, Jesus is very direct and clear: If we wish to follow Him we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and live as Jesus lived!
Jesus was unmoved by categories: poor and rich, lame and able, sinner and righteous. Each "label" was seen as a person welcomed, forgiven and loved. If we live as Jesus lived we create more room, more space in our lives for the "stranger," the "disadvantaged" and, yes, even those we identify as "other" or "enemy." We allow our desire to live as Jesus lived to stretch us beyond our usual comfort zone.
If I call myself Christian today, what can I do to live as Jesus did? How will I take up my cross, deny myself and follow Him? What decision and action today, done out of love for Jesus, will move me beyond my comfort zone? This is the witness Jesus calls me to in today's Gospel.
Sr. Janice Klein
Director of Development, Presentation Sisters