September 16, 2018
(24th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “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 and that of the gospel will save it.” Mk_8:27-35
So, beloved, there IS an action part of this thing we call Faith! Beyond just saying that we are Christian; beyond just wearing a cross around our neck or having a bumper sticker on our car, we are called to live our faith in what we say, and in what we do, and in how we act. St. James wrote,
“If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well, ” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” Jas_2:14-18
It’s THAT action part that just might be the hardest part of being Christian. We can’t just sit around and be quiet about our beliefs. This may just be the cross we have to bear for the sake of the Gospel.
If our faith professes a life of righteousness, the life that Jesus modeled and taught to us, then to the absolute best of our ability we need to live that life. And the world needs to see us live that life. If it cost us sneers and jeers and embarrassment from the world – let them, that’s our cross. And if our righteousness costs us persecution and imprisonment and hatred by the world, that’s our cross, let them. And even if it cost our very lives, as it did Jesus, that’s our cross too – but know, that in the process, we have gained the eternal life that Jesus promised to all who live that faith with cross in hand and sight focused on Him.
St. John wrote: Do not love the world or the things of the world. . . . the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. 1_Jn_2:17
Believe and Do and Live!
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