Gospel: Matthew 16:24-28
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow me. For whoever chooses to save his life will lose it, but the one who loses his life, for my sake, will find it. What will one gain by winning the whole world, if he destroys his soul? Or what can a person give, in exchange for his life?
Know, that the Son of Man will come, in the glory of his Father with the holy angels, and he will reward each one according to his deeds. Truly, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death, before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
“If you want to follow me, deny yourself.”
In the gospel reading, Jesus invites us to deny our self, take up our cross, and follow him. This is the threefold character of dis cipleship. Discipleship in action is both rewarding and costly. It comprises of joy brought about by sharing in the life of Christ, but it also bears a measure or degree of suffering encountered along the way. In both joy and suffering one denies the self of personal gratifications and ambitions brought about by “a purely competitive view of life” (Brendan Byrne). The satisfaction of desires and the determination to achieve something present themselves attractively. They exert some power over the indi vidual to pursue them. Denying the self of them, resisting their pull, and fully embracing the consequent joy and suffering of following Jesus open up an op portunity to live life in its fullest and allow for the experience of the deepest human hope of living in communion with the loving God.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019