Living a Full Life by Dying and Rising

INTRODUCTION

The true mark of Christian discipleship is offering oneself for the good of others, accepting the daily hardships as a sharing in Christ’s suffering. In the end, the followers of Jesus will experience the joy of the Resurrection.

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“A man’s full lifeconsists of 80% tears and 20 % laughter.”says a wise man.This holds true, as one religious man also once said, “suffering is the way the world was redeemed.”Our faith tells us that a good Christian offers himself for the good of others, willing to suffer, andready to die daily. By dying means emptying and forgetting oneself for the sake of other people.

As Jesus taught us to imitate Him and take our own cross,our dailylife means experiencingand sharing the poor’s sorrows, trials and difficulties. The Lord then gives us grace of patience, fortitude and humility to overcome and bear such pain.

By doingHis will and following His command we are able tolend a helping hand, avoid self-righteousness, and being true to ourselves. We also learn how to love more even in most difficult circumstances. Because Jesus is love Himself, lovingHim is allowing ourselvesto be “despised, broken andshared”which are the true marks of discipleship.

Fr. Dave Concepcion, Parish Priest of Sta. Maria Goretti Parish, Manila,in one of his homilies said,” A true believer is one when a neighbor sees God in him and he sees God in his neighbor.” Practicing the “corporal works of mercy”, especially during hard times is the least a good Christian can do that his fellowman will feel God’s loving hand.

Dying to oneself is not confined only in sharing our life with others. The Apostle James reminds us to be quick to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger. He also told us to be doers of the word and not just hearers. He added that in the sight of God our Father, pure and blameless religion lies not only in helping the orphans and widows, but also keeping ourself from the world’s corruption.”

As humans, our doing good, avoiding evil and helping the poor is a daily struggle that we need the help of the Holy Spirit. Serving others with a grateful and joyful heart pleases the Lord. A smile and a happy face will lighten the load of those who are burdened and who are suffering. No matter how long and dusty the road is, if there is song in the heart, the travel will be enjoyable.

“There is no right time to do evil, and no wrong time to do good,” Fr. Dave added.By trusting the Lord one can easily do good and avoid evil. Even if he has little faith, he can still walk in the water and reach out for others who are in distress. What is important is that he goes out of the boat”.

Going out of one’s comfort zone and immersing himself in the “peripheries” of society assures him of eternity. In God’s vineyard, the Lord will see those kind souls reaching out for the needy and will smile at them as He stoops, kisses and blessesHis little ones.

It is believed that one who is afraid of suffering is also afraid of death, but a person who encounters hardships and sacrificesdaily is always ready to die. He can face his Creator anytime and will receive the crown of the Father’s glory.

With Mary, our mother, we pray that we thread the road whereJesus travelled, be among those who die for the poorand be resurrected when the time comes.

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