Can we through our own effort save our life? Should we even try? In the gospel passage for today, Jesus emphatically tells his disciples that the answer is no.
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
It is a matter of priorities that Jesus wants us to understand and appreciate. Nothing that we can do will save our earthly life in the long run. Each of us is destined to lose our life in the fullness of time. No one is getting out of here alive. What Jesus promises is that after our earthly life is over we who believe in him and have done his will are destined to live with him forever.
And then he will repay each according to his conduct.