“Those who find… will lose.” How amazingly relevant these today’s Gospel words sound during our special COVID-time! 

“Those who find… will lose.” There are not many rich people I know, but almost all of them have lost something. And poor people subjectively lost even much more. During times of economic crisis, we easily lose what we earned and tried to save. We wake up in the morning and find out that our money costs less than it did yesterday. Or we hear that our salary was reduced. Or that the bank will not give our savings back to us. Or, it will give them back, but not everything, and not now. 

“Those who find… will lose.” I can imagine what it was like for the apostles to hear this. They have left everything — their houses and boats, and nets, because they hoped they would get more in exchange. They hoped that they will be able to sit next to God, on His right and left sides; that it will be possible to save their own life and stuff. And not only save, but multiply. And to get health, and money, and all kinds of food “more abundantly.”

And then it suddenly turned out that “one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.” And then suddenly, “you will be hated by all for My name’s sake” (Mt. 10:22). And then suddenly, “whoever does not take up the cross… is not worthy of Me.” 

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Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for My sake will find it. (Matt. 10:39) 

You know, this is what the Lord says here to the apostles (and to us): There is one sure way to save the life — is to lose it for Christ’s sake. Losing your life for Christ’s sake does not necessarily mean to die. To lose a life means, first of all, to change direction of it and the whole system of values. It begins with holy baptism, in which our “old self” dies — and we get eternity with resurrected Christ (this is in today’s reading from the Saint Paul). 

And to be baptized does not mean just wearing a small cross on the neck. It means to begin to learn to be God’s mouth and God’s hands in this world, to learn to sacrifice yourself, to devote your life to others, to dedicate yourself for salvation of your neighbors. 

“And who lose… will find.” The apostles probably breathed a sigh of relief: “So it is possible … we still can save our souls.” Yes we can. But we should lose our selfishness, abandon our egoism, lose our “independence,” sacrifice our freedom, our time, our energy for a neighbours. 

We should learn how to imitate Christ, Who was the first One to follow this path. He Himself lost His life for us, did not save it. He could sit in heaven with His Heavenly Father, but instead: “Behold, I go; in the scroll of the book it is written of Me” (Ps. 40:7). Instead of heavenly glory, the Son of God Himself took His cross — for us and for our salvation. 

***

“Who lose… will find.” Our world, where one crisis follows another, where authorities cannot cope with terrorism, where whole countries are closed from each other due to a virus, where the Church is considered to be no more than one of the places of entertainment, where modern culture has long replaced morality, this world needs us. God needs us here. 

And our God needs us forever; that is why He promises the eternity to all who believe in Him — the eternity where He will save our lives, our souls, save forever. 

Amen.

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