Dying to new life - Catholic Courier

Dying to new life

"Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life." (John 12:24-25)

Family experiences provide many opportunities for dying to self on the road to eternal life. The single person dies to enter into the marriage relationship. The married couple dies to enter into the parenting relationship. The family dies as its children grow and mature into independence.

Each individual dies to enter into a small group. Each group dies to grow into a community. Each step toward unity requires a losing of life in order to save it.

The church must lose its life to be an agent of transformation in the world. The church must die to its own needs. It must give of itself for the sake of others, to stay alive and meaningful in the world today.

It is only when we embrace death, following Jesus to the cross, that we can embrace new life in service to those most in need of Christ’s love, forgiveness and salvation.

When we insist on holding fast to our own lives, when we refuse to open ourselves to the care and compassion of others, we find ourselves living isolated lives, feeling bitter and alone. When we’re willing to let go of our own wants and desires and make ourselves vulnerable, we find ourselves connecting to friends and family in an intimate connection of life and love.

Lent provides a challenge for us to risk dying to self, so that we can become more open to rising with Christ to a new life of intimacy, friendship, family and community.

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