February 21, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 8:34-9:1

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”

Reflection (Sem. Rolly Teng):

     In today’s Gospel we heard directly from Jesus Christ that if we want to follow Him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. And He added that for if anyone who chooses to save their life will lose it and for those who lose their life for the sake of the Gospel will save it.

     Reflecting on this passage, I remember the words of St. Augustine to God. “I love you, Lord, with no doubtful mind but with absolute certainty. You pierced my heart with your word, and I fell in love with you.”

     I believe it was the same feelings that I experienced when I responded to God’s call for priesthood. I sensed that I have this vocation because I felt that I am in love with God for the marvelous things that are happening in my life. Although I couldn’t deny the fact that I was doubtful before entering the seminary since I know that there were doubts and hesitations lingering in my heart and mind. On the other hand, I was very convinced that I was in love with God.

     Recalling this experience made me realized that these were the crosses I had during those days. Sometimes we need to bear the pain and enter the process of discernment. If we want to follow Jesus we really need to deny ourselves, so that we can decide well. I believe that despite the doubtful feelings I had, God still granted me the grace of courage in order to make a good decision and to answer His call.

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