Some years ago, my brother Joe lay dying. As I held him, I whispered, “Joe, let go!”  He whimpered, “It’s awfully hard.”  How supreme, the value of our lives! Yet, Jesus declares in today’s gospel, “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”  Is Jesus asking us to become martyrs for him? In a real sense,Yes. Not a bloody martyrdom, but in our consecration to his justice and love even to self-sacrifice. This requires of us what Christ gives of himself at our Eucharistic celebrations in memory of his giving himself atop Calvary. Money, control, convenience have little value compared to such intimacy with Christ. What profit for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life [with Christ]?

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