In every decision of life, we are making ourselves a certain kind of person. The kind of person we are, our character, determines to a large extent the kind of future we will face and live. It is possible that some can gain all the things they set their heart on, only to wake up suddenly and discover that they missed the most important things of all. Of what value are material things if they don’t help us gain what truly lasts in eternity? Neither money nor possessions can buy heaven, mend a broken heart, or cheer a lonely person.
Jesus asks the question: What will a person give in exchange for his life? Everything we have is an out-right gift from God. We owe Him everything, including our very lives. It’s possible to give God our money but not ourselves, or to give him lip-service but not our hearts. A true disciple of Jesus gladly gives up all that he or she has in exchange for an unending life of joy and happiness with God. God gives without measure. The joy He offers no sadness or loss can diminish. The cross of Christ leads to victory and freedom from sin and death.
What is the cross which Jesus Christ commands us to take up each day? When my will crosses with His will, then His will must be done. Are we ready to lose all for Jesus Christ in order to gain all with Jesus Christ?
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and all my will, all that I have and possess. You have given them to me; to you, O Lord, I restore them; all things are yours, dispose of them according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is enough for me.” (Prayer of Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556)