Posted by: frburke23 | August 8, 2014

Thought for Friday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

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.”

=========================================

Today people who study marketing would say that Jesus was not a good marketer, right?  Just imagine the pep talk…  “Ok, men, if you want to follow me you must deny yourself and take up your cross.  You are going to have to lose your life in order to save it.”  To our world today these words sound crazy.  Why would someone willingly deny himself and take up the cross?  It sounds like suicide.  Poor marketing…

Yet, when it is done out of love, every sacrifice is worth it.  Why would you sacrifice for Christ?  I would venture to say that you are willing to give up certain things in this life for the eternal rewards of heaven, right?  I know that if I didn’t believe in heaven, I sure would not be a priest today.  If there was nothing after this life, I would be out there trying to experience ever possible pleasure and good time there was.

However, I do believe in Jesus’ promise of heaven.  And Jesus asks the question, “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” 

What is your ideal?  What are you chasing after in this life?  Where do you spend your time?  Your money?  Your free time?  Your thoughts?  This is what is most important to you.

And if your ideal is not Jesus and a life focused on getting to heaven, Jesus invites us to make a change today.  We have this life for a relatively short time, but what we do here determines how we will spend the rest of eternity.  And the irony is following Jesus in this life and carrying a cross does not preclude a life of joy.  I know many people who are carrying a very heavy cross, but they do it with grace and joy.  Jesus walks this journey with us.

For what are you searching?

Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke

https://frburke23.wordpress.com

 


Responses

  1. Life is very cruel

  2. The Cross….oh that Beautiful Cross.

    Thanks Fr. Burke…Much to say….but how?? So I will just leave some quotes from our Saints….I only wish this was taught and preached more in the Church……The Cross??? Are we missing out on what is TRUE LOVE and MERCY?? “Our Crosses” Are there many whom do not know what our trials and suffering we endure get us? Through them if one offers them up….what they can do for others. Oh Them Beautiful Crosses…..

    If we were wise, we would go to meet it like Saint Andrew, who said, when he saw the cross prepared for him and raised up into the air, “Hail O good cross! O admirable cross! O desirable cross! receive me into thine arms, withdraw me from among men, and restore me to my Master, who redeemed me through thee.”

    Padre Pio, Secrets of a Soul, p.47
    “Jesus said to me; ‘How many times would you have abandoned Me, my son, if I had not crucified you. Beneath the cross, one learns love, and I do not give this to everyone, but only to those souls who are dearest to Me.”

    Saint Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, p.27
    “I understood that to become a saint one had to suffer much, seek out always the most perfect thing to do, and forget self. I understood, too, that there are many degrees of perfection and each soul was free to respond to the advances of the Our Lord, to do little or much for Him, in a word, to choose among the sacrifices He was asking. Then, as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: ‘My God I choose all!’ I do not want to be a saint by halves. I’m not afraid to suffer for You. I fear only one thing: to keep my own will; so take it, for I choose all that You will!”

    If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.
    –Saint Ignatius of Loyola

    ‘When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.’
    –St. Sebastian Valfre

    “I do not desire to die soon, because in Heaven there is no suffering. I desire to live a long time because I yearn to suffer much for the love of my Spouse.”
    –St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

    Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Saviour; in suffering love becomes crystallised; the greater the suffering, the purer the love. (57)
    –St. Faustina

    For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more.
    –Saint Maximilian Kolbe

    All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever had done these two things best, has made himself most saintly.
    –Saint Francis de Sales

    Been Blessed,
    Rhonda

  3. Thank you Fr Burke and thank you Rhonda.

  4. amazing right!! I signed up for his commentaries


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