The Gospel Today
Thursday After Ash Wednesday
Lk. 9: 22-25
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
A couple of years back, the same Gospel for today awakened me to my seemingly sleeping vocation to the priesthood.
I have long been yearning to become a priest since I was in college. However, inevitable circumstances occurred which led to the delay in pursuing my plans to enter the seminary. Years passed by and God endowed me with so much blessings in my life which brought me to a realization that God still has plans for me. I was living in a very comfortable life when God touched my heart again and I felt that He was asking me to heed His call. The big question though was “Can I really leave everyone and everything behind?”
I can still remember the mass which I attended a couple of years back while I was still discerning. The following verses struck me after hearing it from my parish priest who was the mass presider that time: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” At that very moment I felt that God was talking to me. He was beside me asking me to follow Him.
I am about to complete my first year of formation as a priest in process and I can say that my life has indeed changed significantly. Living a life with God is a daily carrying of my cross. Is it difficult? Yes. But more than the difficulty is that profound joy that is overflowing within me. I may have emptied my cup which was used to be filled with so much of corporeal matters, but that emptiness is being refilled by the love of God which is comparable to nothing this world of ours can offer.