The Gospel of Jesus Christ is always radically counter-cultural, and today’s Gospel is no exception. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24)
Self-sacrifice is not a very popular idea in this day and age. We live in a me-first, follow-your-bliss, do-what-feels-right kind of culture. Instead of giving, we are obsessed with getting, and happiness is defined by what we can amass for ourselves here on Earth. It only takes a few minutes of scrolling through Instagram to feel like in order to be winning at life, I need to have a beautifully decorated home, makeup that is on point, regular dates at all the hot restaurants, dreamy vacations in exotic locations, and an income to support it all.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Jesus tells that us if we really want to live, we need to be willing to lose it all. He asks us to follow Him by denying ourselves and by carrying our crosses every day. That doesn’t sound very fun, and it certainly doesn’t sound very Instagram-able.
But when I stop and think about the most rewarding moments of my life they don’t involve on-trend clothing brands, or being top dog in my social sphere. They all have involved giving something up. Giving up a semester of college to go work at an orphanage in India, giving up some of my personal preferences in learning to compromise with my husband, giving up my body for nine months every time I grow one of our babies, and several months after that while I nurse a newborn, giving up sleep night after countless night when my kids can’t sleep and mama is the only thing that will comfort. Each of these things has been difficult and has required me to lose a little bit of myself, but in losing myself I gain a joy that I could never find in all the glittering allure of the world’s pleasures.
“Whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” I see the truth of this Gospel passage evidenced in my own life and in the deepest desires of my heart. When I give up my life for Christ, He gives me a new life in Him, and it is infinitely better than anything I could ever get for myself.
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What is God calling upon you to lose right now? A bad habit? A relationship that’s toxic? A fear that you aren’t loved by Him? Let’s face it today, sister.
Anna Coyne is a Saint Paul native, wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic faith. When not chasing after her two young children you can probably find her playing the piano, knitting, tripping over wooden train sets, or writing. Find out more about her here.