When you attend a burial of any of the faithful departed, one glaring observation you must see is that the body is present but he/she is no longer talking or making any movement. Life has left.
Sometimes we wonder where the person has gone. The point here is that what makes the person who he is has left. The body is just like a box harbouring what makes a man who he is. When what makes a man who he leaves him, the body becomes nothing.
Then the funniest part of all these is that we pay a hundred per cent attention to how to satisfy this body that amounts to nothing and forgets the most important, which is what makes a man who He is.
Therefore, what makes a man who he is, is the soul. Once the soul leaves, the body becomes lifeless. Yet, we do not have time for the spiritual. At last, we lose the body and as well lose the soul.
In today’s gospel, Jesus asks the apostles “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and ruin his soul? In essence, Jesus is invariably emphasizing that what matters most is the soul. Yet we do not have a single time to come close to God.
At the mention of the soul, nobody cares about it because we all believe that we still have a long way to live. Even those who are firing and killing others today think that long life is for them and they will never die until they also experience that same condition they are subjecting others to. What does it profit us, if we shed blood today and still die tomorrow? It is of no profit.
What does it profit a man if he becomes a stumbling block to others just to attain a position, yet tomorrow he will come down from that same position? It is of no profit.
Also, what does it profit a man if he unjustly acquires lands and properties that are not his, yet one day, he will not even remember where one is? Life is temporary and momentary. What does it profit a man if, after all your beauty and handsomeness, yet at the end, everything will still fade away?
Whatever we strive to acquire today, we shall also leave them to meet our God. Yet we do not have time for that same God. What does it profit a man if he enjoys the world today and loses eternity at last? As you work to take care of the physical body, do not forget that the soul also needs attention.
The Gospel Digest.
The gospel of today follows from that of yesterday. After Jesus has rebuked Peter for remonstrating that Jesus will never suffer. Jesus rebukes Peter and then called His disciples to Him and said to them:
“Whoever wants to be my follower must renounce himself, take up his cross and follow Him. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for His sake, and the sake of the gospel, will save it”.
He again asks “What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his soul? And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’
In essence, Jesus is correcting the misleading conception among His disciples that Christ will not suffer. He is also reminding them that the cross is part of their journey and requirement to be His disciple. Therefore, if they must be his disciple, they should also take up their cross and follow Him.
In essence, to follow Jesus is a journey filled with persecution, betrayal, hatred, difficulties, challenges, tribulations, and abandonment. It is a life of total sacrifice. In carrying the cross, we sacrifice our will to do the will of God. The will of God takes precedence.
The journey of discipleship is a journey of total abandonment. But despite these, the gospel must continue. They need not abandon the gospel because of the cross. But despite the challenges, they must proceed in faith.
He says to them “For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels”.
Therefore, the challenges and suffering of this present world must not make us stop preaching the word or make us lose our faith in Jesus Christ. At last everything in this world will still end and we shall return to Him, so what then does it profit a man if he loses Jesus at the end?
Life goes Beyond Pleasure.
One of our greatest aspirations in life is to achieve success, either financially, academically or otherwise.
Today, many people are striving just to become somebody and at least stand out one day. Because of these, we hustle hard, have sleepless nights to make sure we make it in life.
Sometimes, while doing this, many of us do a lot of things just to live up to expectations. We are swallowed with the things of the world to the extent we sometimes forget we came from somewhere and must go back there one day.
The glories of the world have made us forget who we are. Man is nothing but a soul and at last, all he is trying to achieve, enjoy and please ends up in this world.
Today, Jesus asks his disciples ” what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul”. This he said to show that the soul is the most important part of our being.
The soul is what will remain after our earthly journey and thus continues its journey into the next life.
The earthly glory of man ends here. Man does not want to hear about these things and he continually lives today as if he is going to live forever.
Life’s not all about pleasure. In life, we need the spiritual. And the spiritual is what lead us to the world beyond
We have forgotten that we must one day give an account of everything we do. We are preoccupied with the things of the world to the extent we can go to any extent to have them. Some kill, kidnap, loot, dupe, do rituals, even manipulate etc just to acquire riches or occupy an earthly position.
Daily, the reality of death shows its face to us. We see people die, accidents happen, yet we think we cannot die. We think that death is never our portion.
The point here is that it was also what those who died also thought until it became a reality. At last, Some of them began to look for last-minute repentance.
Let us not forget who we are; a soul. Let us not forget we all must go. I mean must. How, when, where and what will happen are only known by God. Let us spend time and ask ourselves “what if I die today? Think about this.
May God give us the grace to continually come close to Him. May He never allow you to stumble Amen.
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