The Deep End – Selfless Love
It can be difficult to understand why anyone would
willingly place a burden on themselves. We are
bombarded daily by promises of a better, easier life.
Magazines and lifestyle gurus offer us a better
work-life balance. New gadgets pledge to remove
obstacles or irritations and make our lives less
stressful. It’s all a bit of a contrast to the message of
today’s gospel, where Jesus says that his followers
must take up their cross. Why would we deliberately
suffer, or take on a burden? Surely we should aim to
make our lives as easy as possible!
Yet, we see self-sacrifice all the time. Parents
make sacrifices for their children, and many people
tend lovingly to elderly parents or relatives. Friends
give up their time to listen and support each other.
Teachers go the extra mile for a vulnerable child, and
nurses, doctors, and care workers often go beyond the
call of duty. Countless people give up their time and
resources to help those in need, whether it’s raising
funds for charities or offering practical support to
those who are sick, homeless, or struggling. And it’s
all done out of love.
When Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to
suffer grievously and be put to death, they naturally
react with shock, as it seems like a strange path to
choose. But he is not doing it simply to make life
difficult for himself. His sacrifice stems from his
passionate love for us, just as we would sacrifice
everything for someone we love dearly. Being a
follower of Jesus means being prepared to sometimes
put others’ needs before our own.