Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Renouncing self- Gospel reflection

 22 02 2022

Mark 9:34-9:1

Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said:

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake and the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed, what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of m end of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels” And he said to them, “I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power”

What does it mean to renounce oneself? And take up our cross? To save our life we must lose it. What’s all that about? How do we do that?

Does it mean I need to be in a convent, away from the bad world? Is that the way to save my life? Or join some catholic association and work for them, losing my life in that work so I can save it?

No, this message of Jesus is for everyone, not just for a few who can be Holy. No, I’m called to be Holy, we all are. He wants us not just to know about him, but to get close to him, intimately close - young people through their  studies, single people in their professional work, mothers and fathers in the family and in their professional work, and yes, also priests and nuns and those who work for the church. All of us offering Jesus our whole lives, through the little things of everyday.

So, in my life, whatever it looks like, Jesus asks me to renounce self. He asks me to put Him first. I can do that, hundreds of times in one day. And I can always ask him, Jesus, what do you want me to do here, in this situation or that other one?

Lent starts on 2nd March. Let’s make this lent a time to get close to Jesus to love Him more.  Each of us should prepare a plan. Not a huge list of things but something we’ll keep to. Something simple. Maybe you struggle getting up on time, then that’s a good place to start, as soon as the alarm goes, immediately turning your heart to God, and up. Renouncing self. “Help me live this day for you Lord”. Or it could be to do something small for someone you live with to make their life better - listening to them, giving them your time and attention. We’re so caught up in “self” sometimes, we don’t think of the others, who are often going through difficult times. A cup of tea, an offer of help. This, if done for Our Lord, is following Him, following Jesus. Could you, this lent, make time for Jesus by spending 10 or 15 mins in prayer with Him? Or read a passage of the Gospel every day? Maybe you already have these habits. Then think, can you do them with more love?  Ask Jesus for light to see what He wants of you this lent.  


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