Connecting Point: October 17, 2021

The spiritual writer, Ronald Rolheiser, claims that one mark of a saint is that the saint makes their life a gift to others. In today's gospel Jesus instructs his disciples that putting others first, or making our life a gift to others, entails suffering. We must deny ourselves and take up our cross.

On his cross, Jesus did not as much give his life “up” for us as he gave his life “away” to us. In imitating the self-giving of Jesus in serving others, we must do as Jesus did and deny ourselves of such things as wealth, status and comfortable living.

I see Jesus’ self-giving service reflected very powerfully in the way parents serve their children. Parents do not as much give their life “up” for their children (they still live full lives), as much as they give their life “away” to their children. It involves sacrifice, but it leads to great joy.

I also see Jesus’ love reflected in those who serve our community as teachers, coaches, scout leaders, first responders, health care workers, aid workers, volunteers, and those who sacrifice much to serve our neighbors in need. Their service requires self-denial. It reflects the self-giving of Jesus.

Our culture is a “me first” culture. To go against that culture by putting others first requires courage to face the consequences. Yet, we gladly deny ourselves and take up our cross, reflecting the self-giving service of Jesus.

Connecting Point: October 24, 2021