And He (Jesus) added,
The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the Law, and be put to death. Then after three days he will be raised to life.
Jesus also said to all the people,
If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me! For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world, if you destroy or damage yourself?
There is something very counter-cultural in Jesus’ invitation to deny oneself, take up his cross and follow him. This is an invitation that a lot of people in today’s world do not find attractive. Normally when people are asked what they want from life, they would say they want to live a happy, healthy and successful life. For most people, success is when they are able to achieve their goals in life, to earn more money to buy and do what they want, and to live a comfortable life. This is what the advertisements are selling, especially to the young. We know that when we try to deny ourselves even the little things that we enjoy, it can be a great struggle for us. Yet, when we are able to do so, we feel a sense of meaning that we have been able to go beyond our created comforts in reaching out to someone in need. It is somewhat paradoxical, because the more we are able to deny ourselves, the more we feel the meaningfulness of life. Jesus invites us to believe in something beyond this transitory world. He leads us along that path and invites us to follow him.
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