Dying for Jesus

John 12: 24-26
2Cor 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 His kingdom to others in obedience to the call of mission. When we are asked to share our life testimony in the breakfast meetings of chapters as far as Cagayan de Oro, Butuan or Surigao city we see it as a “call” from the Lord, and we never refuse the invitation, albeit with a little trepidation because of the great distance we would have to negotiate on roads less travelled. But we put our faith (as usual) in the power of prayers, and we also ask our own chapter’s members to pray for our safe travel. In the more than ten years that we have been doing this, we praise and thank God for His guidance and protection, and for blessing us always with a fruitful mission. This is evidenced by the love and appreciation shown to us by our brothers and sisters in all the communities we have visited.

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.

Lord God, as we take on the tasks that You have given us in serving our brothers and sisters and Your Word, we pray for the joy of Your Holy Spirit to enlighten our hearts so that no fear of loss or failure should weaken our resolve. Let only the grace of gratitude pervade as we work together in our various ministries. Thank you for making us understand that it is only by dying to all our selfish inclinations and desires that we can truly be happy in committing 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, our Savior. Amen.

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