We can be helped by glancing at the sacrifices that our parents had to endure so that we may live and grow up.
To provide food and drink every day, to take us to the hospital, to build shelter for us, school, clothing just to mention a few. The notion that the Cross, mortification, sacrifice, are in some way good and a means of salvation, will always strike a discordant note with people who, like Peter on this occasion, view things from a worldly point of view.
If we reason only in materialistic terms it is difficult for us to appreciate that pain and suffering, or indeed anything that requires an effort, can be worth while. Our fear of pain, above all if it is severe or persistent, is a deeply rooted instinct in us, and our first reaction in the face of something hard or difficult is to run away.
That is why we find the Christian practice of penance difficult. Faith enables to see and realise that without sacrifice the soul encounters no true love, no genuine joy, no lasting purification and no possession of God. Anyone who looks for God without sacrifice, without the cross, will never find him.
Our Lord makes use of pain, of voluntary sacrifice, of poverty, of unheralded sickness, all of which, far from separating us from God, can unite more closely with him.
This contemporary paganism characterised by the search for material well being at any cost, and by the corresponding disregard of anything that could cause suffering. With this outlook, words such as God, sin, cross, mortification, and eternal life… become incomprehensible to a great number of people….
What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? … Have a blessed Sunday!
By Fr John Mungereza