Gospel of Matthew 16:24-28 Reflection:
In today’s Gospel, Jesus sets out the conditions for following him. He gives us a paradox; if we are to find our life we must lose it. What does he mean?
The paradox here is that to find real eternal life we have to be able to let go of those things that hold us back, things like the desire for power, money and lust. If we desire money now we shall put all our energy into getting that and miss what God is saying to us about more important things: if we want to exercise power over our family and friends, holding resentment and anger in order to give us a feeling of power, then we are blocking our hearts and minds from those things that God wants to say to us.
The cross we carry is the fallen human nature we have all inherited from our first parents. The desire for power and money along with the craving for domination is in all of us: it is human nature. As Christians we are called to be aware of these desires and to allow them to fade as we become more obedient to the Lord.
Letting these things go is not easy; it is a lifelong process and one that has to be maintained on a daily basis. But the rewards of trying, make it all worthwhile!! Only experience can teach this.