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19 February 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 9.22-25

If anyone told you that being a follower of Jesus was going to be easy, I am sorry, you have been misled! Someone I knew told his testimony of what becoming a Christian meant for him: ‘Everything started to go wrong – life has never been so difficult – but that didn’t change my mind.’ He realised that Jesus Christ never promised anyone a trouble-free life. He promised to be with us till the end of time.

Just as Jesus knew that he would face rejection, suffering, and death at the hands of his enemies, he also warned those who would follow him that life would be tough for them too sometimes. They would have to ‘deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him’.

This is very different from popular spirituality – the kind that says, ‘Buy into this routine, try this set of ideas, walk this path, and it will lead you to a fulfilled and happy life’. I am afraid I cannot promise you this – though of course I hope things do go well for you. The Christian faith is not a protection racket – it’s not a matter of do right by God and he will watch your back.

The reality is that the stakes are high. What counts most of all is not to ‘gain the whole world’, but to know the well-being of who we really are – our souls.  As the Psalmist says, ‘For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken’ (Psalm 62:1-2).

 

Try praying,

‘Lord, lead me from fear to love, from darkness to light. Help me to find the courage to follow you, day by day.’ Amen

 

Today’s Gospel Reading is Luke 9.22-25

Jesus said, ‘The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.’

Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?