Denying our Very Lives

June 19, 2016

Jesus, in the Gospel, tells us that if we are to follow Him, we are to deny our very selves.  This call to self-discipline, this challenge to prioritize everything with God first is a struggle at times.  As the disciples learned, it is not enough to just know who Jesus is, they must also follow Him.

How many of us have exercise tapes in our homes?   How many of us have read a self-help book or have diet books in our houses?   So often we are looking for the way.  Most of the time we get excited for a few days or maybe for a few weeks.  Sometimes we get excited when we see results and that spurs us on.  Yet we know for anything to happen, we must do something, not just know something.  In our faith life, we know a lot of things.  We know Jesus is the Son of God.  We proclaim the Trinity in our creed every weekend.  Yet, at times it is hard to go across the street and help a neighbor who is of a different culture.  We can proclaim Jesus is Lord, yet we can be outraged by our own family members and refuse forgiveness.  We know that Jesus said we need to love our enemies, yet we are cautious to invite any enemy into a conversation—just ask any political party who is vilifying the opponent.

Jesus challenged His disciples to learn more, to experience more before they proclaimed Him as the Christ of God.  May we find the discipline to be true.  May we get excited about not only knowing Jesus, but about allowing Him to teach us how to deny our very selves and follow Him.

Father John Ouper