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The good news for the day August 5

Friday of the eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time (411)

One time Jesus said to his students, “If people want to come after me, they have to deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow me. For everybody wishing to save the life they got will lose it, but everybody losing the life they got—to become a child of God—will find it. What profit would there be for somebody who gains possession of the whole world but forfeits his true life? Or what can anybody give in exchange for truly Living? The Human will in fact come with His workers—in the radiance of what His Father means—and then He will deal with each person according to how each one has lived. I am telling you the truth: Some people standing here will not taste death until they grasp the Son of Man. coming in his realm—of what is right.” (Matthew 16)

So much of this makes no sense if you think you are simply existing in time—if you think you will do good works, obey the rules, die and go off to heaven. The key is the word, “Life” or Soul.” What Jesus understood by this word is not what you and I tend to think. Later Greek and Roman theologians and philosophers have transformed what the Semite Jesus understood—so much so that this little speech becomes perplexing today. Jesus is referring to His New, True Life—a soul awakened, alert.

To Jesus, a soul—the “life” of a person—means the choice to live, to courageously, actively embrace what is right, the choice to be not superior nor rich—but grateful, caring, appreciative and honest. You are really alive when you admit faults bravely, forgive others sincerely, and hunger for justice. The “glory of My Father” refers to a basic weighing of traits in the way God sees. Are you that child, with such a new life—or merely passively floating along the life you got? Are you a Child of God—or are you a child conforming to this generation, false ideas, and old habits? Do you accept the judgment of others—the cross—for disobeying the way things have always been, constantly repenting—returning to, and looking for, what is of real value—the pearl, the treasure, the growing yeast?

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