He who loves his life will lose it
In today's Gospel Jesus has for us an amazing and even frightening truth about the human condition. He feels the approaching hour of His final battle with evil, death and Satan on the cross. He knows that only such an ultimate and complete sacrifice, the sacrifice of Himself may be effective in the fight against evil. God gives Himself to man and gives Himself to the end, irrevocably. It is the gift of total and absolute sacrifice for the salvation of humanity. The gift of self, the gift of His life. And Christ invites us to make such a gift of ourselves too. "If anyone serves Me, let him deny himself, and follow me, and where I am there shall my servant be."
Is it not true that in our lives, very often we lose precisely what we are so much attached to, what we love so much? Is it not true so that our economy and philosophy of life, is a philosophy of ownership, or philosophy of possession, "as much as you can, have, possess and use?" Our whole life is oriented toward possession, toward having. And Christ offers us a re-evaluation, a change of this optics. Nothing what I have, I really do have, but rather things have me. I am not the owner; I am rather possessed or controlled by the things. So, what I love so much, I will lose! I WILL LOSE EVERYTHING WHAT I HAVE. And it is hopeless, I cannot change this, this is a fate, this is our human life after the original sin. "If the seed thrown into the ground don't die, it remains alone and it does not produce anything any yield nothing." Therefore in order, to gain, to win I must be able to lose, in order to live I need to know how to die ... above all, to myself and to my whims, caprices and sins. This is the strange philosophy of God, who has not chosen another way to save man, than through the sacrifice of Himself, through the self-destruction ... like a seed thrown into the ground. In this way, He assured the eternal life to those who want to follow Him, those who are able to forget themselves, to lose their earthly life.
It is very painful, but is this involuntary loss of what we love so much not as painful? Only, this loss does not bring anything in return! And here, in exchange for the temporality of my earthly life and the pain God is providing me with eternal life. Can I afford it, Can I lose my life to win the eternal life?
Or maybe I'm so attached to these little things so strongly that I cannot get rid of them?
The radical logic of the Gospel ...
How difficult it is, we cannot even understand how to accept, and it is even harder to put into practice the words of the Gospel today? How difficult it is to believe in the depths of our hearts, that anyone who wants to gain his life must lose it, that the seed must die in order to give the fruits? This logic is a way absolutely incompatible with our common sense, for who of us wants to die, who will agree to lose their lives to get it back, who is able to learn obedience in suffering, and in self-denial? (Mt 16.24, Mk 8.34, Lk 9:23)
Unfortunately, this is the radical logic of the Gospel, which is shocking and teasing today's man. Inflexibilities and firmness of Good News discourages modern man and causes such a resistance among listeners that those who hear these words of Christ are revolting and rejecting Good News and finally Christ. In our daily life we try to soften this harsh and difficult logic of Christ and what we have? I heard somebody say: "If you are searching Christ without Cross you will find only cross without Christ. And this is the real disaster!
And God certainly does not want terrorize us, or to create martyrs. He does not propose the mortification and purification as ends in themselves, but as treatments for a real healing a measure to achieve the journey to the Father's House. He draws no pleasure from the suffering and death, because He did not create it (Wis 1:13-14). So why such a radical demands, why such "inhuman" recommendations? And why He speaks of this in the context of "glorification of the Son of Man"? What glorious can be in death on the cross? And why Christ exalted on the cross is to attract us to Him? We would prefer to do it on Mount Tabor, or on the top of the Mount of Ascension, but not on Calvary.
All this does not seem to be understandable and certainly is not acceptable without Resurrection. The whole logic of the Gospel is absurd and unacceptable if Christ has not risen (1 Cor 15:14). And only the Resurrection of Christ put all the "inhuman" requirements and recommendations in a different light. Because only Christ exalted on the cross and risen from the death contradicts logic of death and draws all to Himself, that is ... to eternal life. And it is precisely this exaltation, referred to in today's gospel which is the ultimate winning of LIFE. The cross is a turning point in human history, is the reverse process of destruction and reign of death, which began after sin. And that's why I need to lose my life to retrieve the true and full, eternal life in Christ.