Losing Your Life - Saves It
©2011 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
This is a tough message, but an interesting one for Lent. This is all about self-denial, and forgetting about ourselves and placing Jesus first, in order for us to save ourselves. Jesus is really straight to the point here about following after Him. I guess the toughest part is to understand this verse, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it." Denying yourself in the written word sounds easy, but for some, it will be very difficult to live. I find that for me, giving Jesus all my time, hence consuming all of me, to praise Him consumes me so much, that this is very possible. All things Jesus like I always say 24/7/365. Jesus died for us, to save us, what does it take for someone to get your attention? He is our Savior, He consumed all our sin, and died for all our sins of the past, the present and the future. He deserves our undivided attention always.
I guess in order to make more sense of this and to be able to embrace this teaching, we need to understand it from maybe another vantage point. Think of living your life with "virtually no personal stuff". I find that to be so exciting, and the freedom from that type of living is incredible. I always try to talk about minimizing our life from stuff, and all the stuff we have cluttered our life with. Instead fill your life with all the joys and pleasures and teaching of our Lord. Maybe during this Lent you can start to little by little to get rid of all that clutter. Empty your life, so that Jesus can fill it. Be strong and get rid of far more than you ever thought possible. Here's the way I do it, instead of trying to figure out, one at a time what you want to keep; that will ultimately help you praise our Lord, do the reverse first. Make a pile of things you won't part with, things that of cause ultimately praise Jesus in some way.
This is also a teaching about "freedom", yes freedom big time, from all the distractions and uselessness of the things of this world we live in. Think of this on the simplest terms, let's say you are about to take a journey and your attention on the way is very important so you don't get lost. Would it be easier for you to get to your destination with a whole bunch of clutter, and stuff in your car, on your mind and in your heart? No, but I bet if you took the same journey and all you had in your hands was all you had thoughts and concerns for, the journey would be a lot less stressful. See your "destination" is eternity, the "journey" is a our life. How we live that life will determine where our destination will be, so the more focused we are on Jesus; the better our chances are that we will be able to get it right. Minimize your life here on earth, in order to maximize your life in eternity, with Jesus in Heaven.
Today's Gospel: Luke 9:22-25
(Jesus Foretells His Death, and Speaks of Gain in Losing)
"The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised." And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?"
Questions To Ponder Today:
-Did you there is more healing then suffering in the cross?
-What do you consider self-denial in your life?
-Can you seriously live this gospel?
-So self-denial is the only way, Can you do it?
-Do you have way too much to surrender it for Jesus?
(Consider keeping a journal this Lenten Season)
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO
Today we pray the Luminous Mysteries
1. Baptism of Jesus
2. Wedding at Cana
3. Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. The Transfiguration
5. Institution of the Holy Eucharist