24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 13/9/2015 - Gospel: Mk 8:27-35
Deny oneself
Cleaning up a kitchen cupboard is an easy task because the due date printed on the food items helps us to know what to keep and what we need to throw away. When it comes to the non expired date labelled on items the task becomes harder to decide what items to keep and what items to throw away especially when items are valuable and in good condition. We dispose of them not because they are out of date but out of fashion. At a personal level rejecting things which are dear and important for us is a real concern because it makes no sense to throw away things we love and cherish. All things of this world we love and cherish have both good and hidden harmful elements and we often see the goodness and ignore the harmful elements it causes.

There are ways to help us to make a good and wise decision. The wise and good way is the way of Jesus and that is the way of the cross; the unwise way is the way of the world because we may avoid one of the hidden elements and fall into another one. The way of the cross seems hard and demanding because it offers true love and mercy and its final reward is everlasting; the way of the world looks appealing on the surface but when we get involved it becomes a real heavy burden with lots of wiliness competition.

The way of the cross with God's love helps us to see the purpose of life and we reach out to others in love for support and receive love and support from others. The way of the cross helps us to recognize God's love and mercy are valuable and everlasting and these are the things we need to keep and treasure. The way of the world proposes things that have temporary value and short live. They give an instant result to enjoy life but those who treasure them in their hearts soon become their slave for material accumulation and life becomes a heavy burden. It is better to befriend with everlasting things rather than possess things of this world. Everlasting things come from the everlasting source and God alone is the true and only everlasting source of kindness and goodness. A person would never have peace when that person wants to keep both the everlasting things and the temporary things in his heart because of the conflict of interest of the two. They are incompatible and would never share the same value. The process of discard bad things of this world is hard and painful. The world loves and rewards those who love them and rejects and ridicules and punishes those who do not love them. This explains what Jesus foretold us that the world will hate you because you don't belong to the world.

Jesus asked us to fill our minds and hearts with His teachings, love and mission. Through prayers Jesus becomes one with God. To adopt his life style to be ours we need to pray regularly.