This is today’s gospel followed by the commentary from the Bishops’ website.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 9: 22-25
Anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it.
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Gospel Reflection Thurs after Ash Wednesday Luke 9:22-25
There are two little words in today’s gospel reading that often strike me ‘every day’. Jesus says, ‘if anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me’. Jesus is saying that following him is something we need to do ‘every day’, and, ‘every day’, this will involve some form of renunciation and taking up the cross, some saying ‘no’ to what may often seem an easier path, all in the service of saying ‘yes’ to Jesus’ call to follow him. It is as if Jesus is saying that we never take a holiday from trying to follow him more closely. There are no days off. It is something we need to do every day. Every day, the Lord calls us to follow him, to take the path he has shown us by his life and his teaching, and, indeed, by his death, and every day we try to respond to that call. It is because the following of the Lord is daily that Jesus teaches us to ask the Father, ‘give us this day our daily bread’. We daily need the resources only God can provide if we are to be faithful to the Lord every day. Of course, we all have our off days. We recognize at the end of some days that we were not at our best. Yet, we just begin again the next day. Each day the Lord says to us what Moses says to the people in the gospel reading, ‘choose life’. Jesus assures us in the gospel reading that in seeking to follow him every day we are choosing life, we are saving our lives.
The Gospel reflection comes from Martin Hogan’s book: WEEKDAY REFLECTIONS: To know the love of Christ 2016/2017 published by The Messenger c/f www.messenger.ie