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?” (Lk 9:23-25)
In today’s first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses spoke to the people: “Today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.” He told them that, as they chose, so would they live — or die.
Jesus echoed the same message in the Gospel when He told His followers that they must take up their cross and follow Him because, to choose anything other, would lead them to doom.
What good would it do to gain the whole world yet lose oneself in the process?
We all know people who have done just that.
Their goal was for incredible fame or fortune or power and they sold themselves out. Their beliefs, their values, their morals? They all went out the window because the goal that they wanted was more important to them that the incredible toll that it was taking on their soul.
We should not allow ourselves to get to the point where we begin to think that we have no other recourse than to cling to the path that leads us to destruction.
We are at the very beginning of Lent. This season encourages us to examine our lives — honestly — and to do all that we can to repair any breaks in our relationship with God.
FAITH ACTION: Are our choices leading us away from God? If that is the case, change course before it is too late. Do you know someone else who is straying terribly? Encourage them to right their lives.