"What profit does a man show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?" —Mark 8:36
Jesus came to make disciples (Mt 28:19) and not just believers, church-goers, humanitarians, and nice people. To be disciples of Jesus, we must:
- deny our very selves (Mk 8:34),
- take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23; Mk 8:34),
- lose our lives (Mk 8:35),
- not be ashamed of Jesus and the Gospel (Mk 8:38),
- renounce all our possessions (Lk 14:33), and
- "hate" our fathers and mothers, spouses and children, brothers and sisters, indeed our very selves (Lk 14:26). (This statement is probably an exaggeration by which Jesus emphasizes that our relationship with Him should be first and in a class by itself.)
Obviously, it is humanly impossible to be disciples of Christ. We are too selfish. But Jesus' crucified love is stronger than our addiction to self. In love and only in love, we decide to be disciples of Jesus.
Prayer: Father, may love free me.
Promise: "Happy the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commands." —Ps 112:1
Praise: Not being ashamed of the Gospel, Maria offered to pray for a friend who was experiencing heart problems. As a result, that friend's former anti-Catholic prejudices were transformed and he came into the Church shortly thereafter.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999