The Gospel speaks of losing and gaining life. A human being’s concrete existence may be threatened because of faith in Christ. Jesus, after all, says that misunderstanding, persecution, and even death may await his faithful followers. But one who denies or abandons Jesus for fear of losing one’s life is actually losing it. One who forfeits one’s life saves it because one is given new life that no earthly power can annihilate.
Life in Jesus is an everlasting one. Already on earth, the faithful enjoy this new life in Jesus. Life in the next is the continuation and perfection of this life. Physical death is the death of the body, but the believer’s “self” lives on and is given a new and glorious condition in the hereafter.
In the classic German legend Faust, the protagonist is a charlatan who is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life, which leads him to make a pact with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. In the end, the devil takes his soul.
Gospel • MATTHEW 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.