FRIDAY, EIGHTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Nah 2:1,3; 3:1-3,6-7; Dt 32:35-36,39,41; Mt 16:24-28
A TRANFORMATIONAL EXCHANGE
On reflection of the gospel of today, a weighing scale comes to mind. As humans, we often weigh our options before making a decision. If Jesus beckoned us to follow him today, surely, we would be likely to place our life, comforts, relationships and treasure on one side. On the other side, we would place suffering, insecurity, total dependence and sacrifice, radiating a certain darkness. It wouldn’t be difficult to see that the easier option to choose is life. However, Jesus is saying to us that whoever loves his life will lose it. Indeed life, comforts, relationships and assets are easily lost. In a heartbeat, a calamity, an argument, a bad decision, all of these can disappear. Yet, whoever loses these for the sake of Jesus, is promised eternal life with him. How can suffering be made easy to bear? How can we be encouraged to proclaim Christ in the face of danger? How could anyone choose this dark side of the weighing scale?
The mystery is in the transformational exchange of one side for the other. Losing the whole world, but gaining your soul. When we suffer for Christ’s sake, he comforts us. When we give up earthly comforts for his mission, he offers us security. When we place our relationship with him above all our earthly ties, we find that we truly can depend on his providence. When we lead sacrificial lives, we may lose worldly benefits, praise, authority and glamour. But we find a heavenly treasure – a place with Jesus.
Are you looking at the dark side of the weighing scale too cynically right now? Look again. But this time, with the eyes of faith. You will see the gloom of suffering, insecurity, dependency and sacrifice disappearing into the bright light of the cross. The piercing light of glory seeping from behind the tombstone, the light of victory over death, the light of Christ that dispels all darkness. Are you willing to make this transformational exchange?
Response: It is I who deal death and give life.
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