Sunday November 6
Let us die to self and live for God
  • 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
  • Psalm 17:1,5-6,8,15
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
  • Luke 20:27-38

‘Dying to oneself’ is an idea that tends to intimidate most Christians, including myself. However, it is a sanctifying process that the Scriptures teach us about continually, as in today’s liturgical readings. While the type of physical torture and scourging endured by the seven brothers and their mother in the First Reading is a rare encounter in the present day, we are still given the opportunity to suffer for Christ in other ways.

The choice to live for Christ finds us in even the most mundane moments of life. The simple choice to say no to the world and yes to the Kingdom, and no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit is offered to us in the words we speak, the decisions we make, among the company we keep and the reactions we give to the world around us. These simple yet testing choices leave us hesitant, and we realise that the costs of following Christ are not ones we are always ready to bear.

However, as the bold brothers in the Second Book of Maccabees, when heaven becomes our sole focus, even the deepest strikes to our flesh and the greatest sacrifices become endurable.

The good news is that this journey of sanctification, this path of dying to ourselves and living solely for Christ is not one we are called to tackle with our own strength.

Today’s Second Reading reminds us that the Lord strengthens us, guards us, and best of all, directs our hearts to “the endurance of Christ”. The one who withstood the greatest ache, the deepest pain, and the heaviest burden lends to us his supernatural endurance to follow him in leaving the world behind and embracing heaven as our reality.

Dying to oneself is not such an intimidating idea when eternity is our perspective. As today’s Gospel proclamation states, the children of God are the ones who will rise.

When our eternal ascent is guaranteed, why would we fear the temporary valleys of this world? If at the appearance of the glory of the Lord, our joy is made full, then why would we not pursue his glory at all costs? If the God of the living is on our side, then why would we not die to every part of our-self that stands in the way of his glory?

So, let us embrace the Kingdom perspective that todays’ readings offer us. The kind of vision that reduced the sufferings of the 7 brothers to a mere nothing. The kind of vision that infuses us with the desire to die to the earthly, the temporary, and the self, and live only for the eternal, glorious, and the Everlasting One.

Prayer: Abba Father, may we fix our eyes on you, so that we may live for you alone. Amen.

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