Today’s Thoughts: These words from Jesus always seem so difficult and at times next to impossible to live. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny him [or her] self, take up his [or her] cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34)
Yet, we have all met people who are wonderfully generous with their time, their money, their gifts and talents, while at the same time not calling any attention to themselves. People who seem willing to die to self for the greater good. And I have to say I am profoundly envious of these people and the freedom they seem to possess because I know that in my own life I fall tremendously short of living life this way. We also know many people whose slogan seems to be “Life is about me!”
Living and giving without wanting or needing gratitude and praise is intensely challenging. It takes a certain kind of person. One who has a loving heart and who is willing to let go of the need for others to notice what is getting done.
Throughout Jesus’ life there were a lot of little deaths before his ultimate death of the cross. Over and over Jesus had to embrace dying to carry on his life and ministry. He died to fame, fortune, power, acceptance, approval, popularity and at times even love. He died to all the things at we human beings seem to long for and think we cannot live without. Jesus lived out of a wisdom, knowledge and trust in himself and God’s unconditional love and it made all the difference.
In the Gospel of John, we hear John the Baptist say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Perhaps another way of say what Jesus says today. The people whom I described above come to know in themselves that life is about God not them. They are willing to decrease so that God can increase and become present to the world. If the world could only learn this kind of trust, of letting go what a wonderful place this would be.
My friends in the Passion of Jesus let us try and let go and let God today. Let us decrease so that Jesus can increase in our lives. Let us deny ourselves, take up the crosses of life and follow Jesus today and always.
Have a great Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...