Self-Bouncer Love | National Catholic Journalist

“Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses it for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24).

Na 2:1,3; 3;1, 3.6-7; Matthew 16:24-28

Jesus reveals the great paradox of discipleship in today’s gospel passage about finding and losing ourselves. He had just told his apostles that he was on his way to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission, but not in the way they expected. He will be rejected and killed, but from this self-sacrifice will inaugurate the life of glory which will be their destiny if they are ready to follow him.

Our willingness to lose ourselves for the love of Jesus and in the service of others is not a one-time act but a lifelong process. We find that when we empty ourselves for the good of the community, we actually find ourselves and fulfill ourselves. Or we learn that when we step back to protect our interests, we end up isolated and incomplete. We set out to find love, only to realize that when we give it, it comes back to us multiplied and in ways we could not have imagined. Or we learn that seeking approval and love for our own satisfaction only drives others away.

At the end of today’s gospel, Jesus alludes to the mountaintop transfiguration that he and selected witnesses are about to experience en route to Jerusalem. Peter, James and John will see the messianic glory that Jesus must reveal by his abandonment on the cross, which will fulfill the Law and the Prophets. God’s mercy is about to be poured out on a sinful world in an amazing act of divine, self-emptying love. This is the model that each disciple is invited to imitate. Whenever we lose ourselves for others, we find ourselves in the company of Jesus.

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