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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

September 20th: St. Andrew Kim Taegon, presbyter, and st. Paul Chong and martyr companions

Gospel text (Lk 9,23-26): Jesus also said to all the people, «If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world while you destroy or damage yourself? If someone feels ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Glory and in the Glory of his Father with his holy angels».

«If you lose your life for my sake, you will save it»

Fr. Salomon BADATANA Mccj (Wau, South Sudan)

Today, we hear Jesus telling the people: «If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me» (Lk 9:22). And these are the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ who did not hesitate to tell us what it entails to be a Christian. Nevertheless, we Christians never seem to understand his words. Thus, we often hear people complaining about how things are hard in their life. And one of the common complaints is “if the Lord is with me why then am I suffering this way?”

Being Christian, we often think that everything is supposed to move smoothly for us because our God is the all-powerful God. All this is because we are used to hearing preachers who preach to us the Gospel of prosperity. During the Angelus Address of September 13, 2015, Pope Francis said: «To undertake the discipleship of Jesus means to take your cross —we all have it— to accompany Him on His path, an uncomfortable path that is not of success or of passing glory, but that which takes us to the true freedom, freedom from selfishness and from sin».

Thus, today, Jesus invites us once more to purify our motivations as we choose to follow him. Never did he promise us that it shall be too well for us if we choose Him. We ought to be ready to take up our daily cross and follow him even if it means to lose our life; «For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it, and if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it» (Lk 9,24). This is the ultimate witnessing St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Paul Chong, and companions, whose memorial we celebrate today, have borne for Christ so as to share in his eternal banquet.

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