"Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Mt 16:25
It is frightening for most of us to even consider losing our life for anything or anyone else. The survival instinct we possess is too strong, and while most of us might be willing and able to respond in an emergency to someone in imminent danger, when we have a chance to think about it, we find all kinds of excuses not to take the risk of losing our lives for a cause or another person.
When we hear Jesus tell us that the only way we can save our life is to lose it, we resist and wonder what he can possibly mean. Does he want us all to be martyrs? In fact, Jesus asks only that we trust him and his promise of eternal life. "Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Mt 6:25) When we are full of faith, there is no room for the kind of overwhelming fear that paralyzes us in the face of danger.
St Dominic is a powerful example of what can happen when someone embraces the Gospel without compromise. Conscious that the Albigensians were very critical of the clergy who traveled by horse and had servants, Dominic embraced voluntary poverty in the tradition of the Apostles and for 10 years went from place to place as an itinerant preacher, letting go of his life of privilege for the sake of the Gospel.
Today, ask for the strength to be weak like St Paul so that Christ can work in you.
What faith practice helps you face your fears?