“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” MT 16:24-28
Gain the whole world and forfeit his life. We all know those moms whose children have to be the best. Their children are put into sports, entertainment, anything that puts the children in a position of peer focus, that will give them: both the child and the parent, a chance for the spotlight. For these parents, it isn’t because the child will grow positively. No, these parents need the attention. They need to stand taller and say their child is a star, but what it means is the parent wants to be/must be the real star. And it comes at a cost for the mom and the family. It comes at a cost to the mom.
For these parents, it is all about the show. They are forfeiting their lives, their families life for the ego. And it is that ego that Jesus is warning us about. Through the ego, we experience the world. It is through the ego that we react to the world, control how we react, what desires we express and how we achieve our goals. Are we going to do this positively with the support of others, with prayer and respect for God’s call on our life. Or do we steamroll over anyone who stands in our way. That is what Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel.
Jesus isn’t saying become a doormat, let others walk all over you; that is equally as bad. You are still forfeiting your life.
Jesus’ warning to us tells us that when we become ego-centric we become egotistical: self-interested, self-seeking, no good can come from it either for ourselves or our family, it will be damaging.
In the triangular relationship of the Great Commandment: God = Neighbour = Us: how we act toward neighbour shows how much we love God and ourselves. When we are the centre we push everyone else out of our world. The others of our world become things we use to move our agenda forward. God knows the more connected we are with our world, the more we have real joy. The more connected we are with God the more we achieve because our lives are in line with his will for us, our calling.
We are put on this Earth to be Preist, Prophet and Queen. We are put on this Earth to do great good. We are not put on this Earth to “Lord” over others, we become little gods. We are not on this Earth to do all we can to achieve: what good is all the wealth, stuff, fame in the world if we have no love, no friends?
If you are dealing with issues like this, take the time to discern why. Needing to be the centre of attention can be related to feeling of abandonment. Ego is a trap.
Today, I am going to examine my own life. Where have I sought after material things and not been aware of others needs? Where have I been blind to others need for my support? Where have I done things that are hurtful just so I can come out on top?