Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it

Published August 5, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Gospel • Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus’ singular mission is to bring humanity back to his Father’s home. He will draw all of creation to himself when he is lifted up from the earth in his resurrection (Jn 12:32). The recurring theme in the Gospel of Matthew is salvation brought about by the entry of the Kingdom of God in Jesus. His Hebrew name Yehoshua (“God helps/saves”) bespeaks of his mission: “He will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). Salvation will be made possible by his laying down of his life. While it is true that life ends in death, paradoxically, life also comes from dying. In a Johannine “parable,” when a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit (12:24). This was true of Jesus, and this is also true of his followers.

Discipleship means imitating Jesus in treading the same way of the cross as the means to salvation. This entails “sacrificial offering” — that is, laying down one’s life freely for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel. It is to offer one’s life for one’s friends. It is to hand over everything to the Lord. St. Paul summarizes this conviction: “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living” (Rom 14:7-9).

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” 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.