Sunday after the Exaltation of the Cross
“What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his (eternal) life?” (Mark 8:36)
Throughout our earthly life, we are called to become disciples of the Lord. Our Lord tells us: “Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” This was the message given not only to the apostles but to the crowd in general. The Lord knew that some would not accept this message. They would reject it. There would be some who would be ashamed of Jesus and His words, the Gospel message. Nonetheless, the Lord goes on to say that the Son of Man will be ashamed of (those) when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.” This indicates to us all that there is a connection between our earthly life and eternal life.
To those who busy themselves with the acquisition of earthly “goods” and do so indiscriminately can darken their soul and forfeit the divine inheritance the Lord God has acquired for us all by His Cross and Resurrection. For what can a man (person) give in exchange for his soul. Man has been created in the image and likeness of God. God is our Heavenly Father and we all are children of God. God created us having not only a body, but also a soul. The body we now have is temporal, but the soul we possess is eternal.
The Lord tells us that in this life we may experience difficulties. The devil will tempt us and seek to have us fall into sin, as did Adam and Eve. But we do not have to go it alone, we can turn to the Lord God in prayer and seek His divine assistance, His manifold blessings. Each day we may face new challenges to live the Gospel message. We may have to suffer and if need be die for the Faith. It is our Holy Faith that we cling to and cherish in our times of need.
We live in the faith of the Son of God Who loved us and gave Himself up on the Cross to save all of us from sin and to open wide the gates to the Heavenly Kingdom. Being a true, authentic disciple of the Lord may involve some pain and suffering. Nonetheless, we bear our daily crosses lovingly and patiently, knowing that God Who knows and sees all will one day repay all, each according to his/her deeds.
The Cross was an act of self-giving, self-sacrificial Love. Jesus died, so that we all may live forever. After the Cross came the Resurrection, the victory over the powers of sin, death and evil. Christ’s Resurrection is a pledge, a promise of our own resurrection if we remain faithful to Christ and His Gospel message. Our eyes are to be fixed heavenward and not to be overly concerned about the acquisition of earthly, temporal goods, where moths and rust corrode and thieves break in and steal. Let us have compassion for one another, especially for the ”lowly” of this world – the handicap and those in need. May the Love of Christ be in one’s heart and may we be ever ready to share it with those we encounter throughout our lives. Let us make room for Christ in our daily lives, so that we may say as did St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ Who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Rev. D. George Worschak