Dying for Jesus

John 12: 24-26
2 Cor 9: 6-10 / Psa 112

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12: 26)

To be the seeds that Christ has sown
Means dying to our comfort zone,
To all the pleasures we have known,
For God’s Word and his Son alone.

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12: 24-26)

Reflection

To “hate his life in this world” does not necessarily mean to abandon our career, family or responsibilities. It only means to become detached from the materialism of this world; to set aside the pursuit of fame or fortune, which no longer takes any precedence; and to give up living for ourselves for the sake of others, in imitation of our Lord, Jesus Christ. These we have clearly seen in the life of our beloved former president, “Tita” Cory, who could have enjoyed a peaceful and comfortable life after having served her country selflessly for six years, but instead continued to give of herself in serving God and the least fortunate up to the very end of her life. She was indeed the single seed whose death has now spawned a thousand seeds of change in the minds and hearts of her countrymen because of her great example.

To die for Jesus also means to go to great lengths in bringing His Gospel values and the Good News of God’s kingdom to others in obedience to the call of mission. When our Area Managing Director and good friend asked us if we could share our life testimony in one of their breakfast meetings in Cagayan de Oro city, we saw it as another “call” from the Lord, & accepted the invitation, albeit with a little trepidation because of the great distance we would have to negotiate on a road less travelled. The farthest distance our 8-year old Honda City had gone to was General Santos city, barely half the distance compared to Cagayan de Oro, with better road conditions. I was also hesitant because of a recurring back ache which might give me a problem with the long drive. But we put our faith (as usual) in the power of prayers, and so in our Gospel reflection last Friday, we asked our readers to pray for our safe travel. We thank you all for our safe, trouble-free and comfortable trip to and from Cagayan de Oro city. It felt like I was driving a brand new car, plus our stamina and enthusiasm surprised this couple of senior citizens! The Lord had truly blessed us with a fruitful mission, as evidenced by the love and appreciation shown to us by our brothers and sisters in the East Cagayan de Oro Chapter.

In our first reading today, St. Paul said, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor 9:6). In our service to God and to others, we have learned that when we give of ourselves unsparingly, God will grant all that we ask for, and even add a little bonus. But lest we forget, it is not in this life that our Lord means for us to reap a bountiful harvest but in the next. This is the hope that sustains our faith, and what is worth dying for.

Dear Lord, embolden our hearts so that no fear of danger will weaken our resolve to serve You. Thank You for making us understand that it is only by dying to all our selfish desires that we can truly commit our lives to You. Thank You for giving us this wonderful life in the renewal, where we have found the true meaning of Life in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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