July 2, 2023
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37–39
Clearly, this saying is a play on words that is meant to make you pause and think. It’s almost like a holy and sacred riddle, spoken by Jesus to get your attention and to communicate a very deep and foundational truth about how you are to live. Essentially, this saying teaches that those who live in a selfish, self-centered way do not accomplish their goal. The goal of those who are selfish is to elevate themselves with the thinking that this is what is best for them. But Jesus clearly points out that when you live selfishly, seeking to put yourself above others, you lose what is most important in life. You lose your very soul. On the contrary, if you live selflessly, putting others before you, it is in this act that you actually find your true purpose in life and fulfill yourself on the deepest level.
Think, for example, of Jesus. He is God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, existing for eternity in perfect union with the Father and the Holy Spirit. His soul radiates pure love. And for that reason, He chose to become human, suffer greatly and be killed. Was that fulfilling to our Lord? Most certainly. Why? Because His sacrifice went to the heart of Who He is. He is Love itself. And love is always self-giving. It is always fulfilling. It always seeks the good of the other. Love fulfills the lover when it is pure, holy, selfless and total. Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross not only redeemed us, but it also manifested the Son of God’s own perfect fulfillment and satisfaction in His human nature because His death was an act of pure love.
Sin confuses us. Selfishness especially clouds our thinking. As a result, it becomes difficult to clearly see that the way to fulfillment in life is by the complete and unwavering sacrifice of our lives given to others, in imitation of and in union with Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. The moment that sin leads us to think first about ourselves, we begin to become blind to who we are and what makes us truly fulfilled.
Reflect, today, upon the divine mission you have been given to lose yourself for the sake of Christ, which is for the sake of true love. By loving God and others in this pure way, selflessly, you become who you are and who you were created to be. You find yourself only by choosing to lose yourself in this world. Ponder this deep mystery and believe it. Once you do believe it, commit to live sacrificially, casting aside every doubt, so that you will never hesitate to love everyone sacrificially. For in that radical act of selfless love, you will discover and become who you were created to be.
My sacrificial Lord, You are not only the perfect model of human love, Your sacrificial love is the source of human fulfillment itself. Please give me the grace I need to love all people in a perfect and selfless way and, in that act, also discover and become who I was made to be. Jesus, I trust in You.