Each one of us will fall to the ground and die one day. Last Saturday night, I thought it was my turn. I thought I was dying.
Whatever was happening to me was mimicking a heart attack and respiratory failure. My heart was racing and I couldn’t breath. It really felt like the end.
The gospel speaks about a grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying. What do we do with that? Whoever loves his life loses it. I love my life and I wasn’t ready to lose it.
Whoever hates his life preserves it for eternal life. I don’t hate my life. It’s not perfect. Who’s is? I don’t want to lose my life just yet.
We get to where it seems that this gospel just doesn’t make any sense. So what do we do? Let’s read on. Jesus is using imagery to try to make a point. If we read on we increase the likelihood of finding the point.
Jesus goes on to say, “Whoever serves me must follow me.” That’s it, right there! Follow Jesus.
If last Saturday night was a near death experience, my doctor is not sure that it was, but I certainly felt like it was the end. I mean, I called 911. But I’m gonna tell you there wasn’t some great white light.
And I spoke to another priest who recently had a heart attack and he reported the same thing.
There seemed to be some battle between choosing good and choosing evil. And while the good was obviously the right choice, I must admit that the evil presented itself in a way that was very tempting.
Now, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know from your own experiences.
Whoever serves me must follow me, Where I am, there also will my servant be. To choose the good, we have to be willing to follow. And in following, the key word is serves. Whoever serves me is following me. How do we serve Jesus? How do you serve Jesus? How do I serve Jesus?
What disinterested service do we do for Jesus, in his name or on his behalf? It must be disinterested service because we are doing it for Jesus. We are not interested in getting anything in return, except grace.
What do we do to show that we are followers of the Lord? What? It has to be something. I have to be able to say this is what I am doing to better serve Jesus, this is what I am doing to better follow Jesus.
Otherwise, when the time comes there might not be some great white light.
I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? God save me. Then a voice from heaven came. I have saved you and I will save you again.