“For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25)
In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses tells us that God has set before us life (good) and death (evil), blessings, and curses. God who made you without your cooperation will not save you without your cooperation.
God will never force His way on us. It is always going to be up to us to decide what becomes of us through the choices we make on a daily basis. We are free to choose but we are not free to avoid the consequences of our choices.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus sends out an open invitation to us, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me for whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.”
Note that Jesus began with the word “If”. This no one is forced to follow Jesus. It is a decision that has to come from your heart, a choice to deny yourself, to take up your cross every day and follow behind Jesus.
The best choice in this season of Lent is self-denial. We are called to fast (deny ourselves from pleasures), pray (deny ourselves from pride), and give alms (deny ourselves from greed and selfishness).
We live in a world where no one wants to hear about self-denial. Everyone seeks the easy way, the path of pleasure and comfort but Jesus says: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, save me from wrong choices. Amen.
Bible Study: Deut. 30:15-20, Ps. 1:1-4,6, Luke 9:22-25).