Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Imagine a recruiting office using this slogan: “Deny yourself, take up difficulties and hardship, and obey someone else.” I can’t imagine the line getting in would be very long!
St Ignatius of Loyola echoed these words of Jesus when he wrote in the Spiritual Exercises, “In the spiritual life, progress will be in proportion to surrender of self-love, self-will and self-interest.”
Why? Because in losing ourselves in loving someone else—that’s when all the good stuff happens. What parent, for example, doesn’t experience deep joy in making sacrifices for their child? Or a friend staying up late to console a friend in need?
Our deepest meaning and satisfaction in life occurs not when we are focused on the shallow interests for ourselves but when we forget ourselves in caring for another.
—Fr. Dan Reim, SJ, is campus chaplain at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH.
Thy Kingdom come, THY will be done.
—Meditation on the Our Father by Fr. Dan Reim, SJ