RISK ALL FOR JESUS
It’s not easy to dig into Jesus’ inner world, but in his heart we can sense a two-fold experience: his identification with the least and his complete trust in the Father. On one hand he suffers with the injustice, disgrace and sickness that make so many suffer. But on the other he completely trusts in that Father-God who wants nothing more than to uproot from life whatever is evil and makes God’s children suffer.
Jesus is open to all that makes Father-God’s desire a reality: a more just, dignified and happy world for all. And as is natural, he wanted to find the same attitude among his followers. If they followed his footsteps, they ought to share his passion for God and his complete openness to the service of God’s reign. He wanted to light a fire in them that he carried within.
There are phrases that say it all. Christian sources have conserved with slight differences a saying directed by Jesus to his disciples: «Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it». With these very paradoxical words Jesus is inviting them to live as he does: blindly holding onto life can lead one to lose it; risking it generously and valiantly leads to saving it.
Jesus’ thinking is clear. Whoever walks behind him but keeps holding onto security, goals and expectations that offer him life, can end up losing the greater good of all: the life lived according to God’s saving project. On the contrary, the one who risks all to follow him will find life by entering with him into the Father’s reign.
Whoever follows Jesus frequently has the feeling of «losing life» for an unreachable utopia: Aren’t we throwing away the best years of our life dreaming with Jesus? Aren’t we wasting out best energies for a useless cause?
What did Jesus do when he found himself disturbed by these kinds of dark thoughts? Identify himself all the more with those who suffer and keep trusting that Father who can give us a life that can’t be deduced from what we experience here on the earth.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf