Saturday, June 9, 2018
And Christ summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, they must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his or her life will lose it, but whoever loses his or her life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his or her soul? For what will a person give in exchange for his or her soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of that person when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:34-38
Worldly temptations are alluring, deceiving, and powerful. The worldly temptations of fame, fortune, and control of others are subtle and seductive. The worldly temptations can be so persuasive for they are so easily rationalized. And we fall prey to them more than we realize, more than we confess, more than we like to think.
To give one’s life fully to God is at the heart of Hebraic faith. To give one’s life in the act of Holy Love is at the heart of the Christian faith. But to give of one’s life is more encompassing that the slight chance that we might at some future time be martyred. To give one’s life is to be willing to sacrifice the worldly comforts that tempt us so. We yearn to be wealthy, but to be wealthy at what cost? We yearn to be secure, but to be secure at what cost? We yearn to be in control of people and events, but to do so at what cost?
How do we measure the prosperity of our lives or our land? How do we define ourselves by worldly definitions of this political party or this ideology or this economic class or this nationality? How do we measure the worth of ourselves and others, by what measure do we use to determine the success of our living?
I confess I am seduced by the worldly temptations than I dare to admit, but I pray that with the help of the Lord I will make progress to living with a More Perfect Love.
In Christ’s Service always,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz