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Our Only Real Security

**For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it** (Matthew 16:25).
Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalms 63:2-6,8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27

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Sermon Week Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 16:25


It has been said that "following Jesus is like climbing a spiral staircase":

Sometimes it seems as though we are just circling around, getting nowhere. But then we notice that the circle is getting bigger and bigger and that our perspective is getting wider and wider. Our perspective is becoming less and less self-centered and more and more other-directed. We are being guided by an unseen hand that enriches and enhances our lives even in the midst of suffering and setbacks.1

To be alive is to face risk. To be alive is to risk death, injury, sickness, disease, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, rejection, loneliness, betrayal. And because by virtue of our being alive, these are risks we must run necessarily, they subject us to the greatest risk of all -- the risk of our spiritual destruction, which is despair.

We spend a goodly portion of our lives struggling to achieve some measure of security against these and other risks. We build nest-eggs to secure ourselves against the risk of poverty. We follow fashions to secure ourselves against the risk of embarrassment over our personal appearance. We buy insurance to secure ourselves against the financial risks of sickness and disease. We cling to certain persons to secure ourselves against the risk of loneliness. We keep others at arms-length to secure ourselves against the risk of rejection. We keep our own counsel to secure ourselves against the risk of ridicule. We get regular medical checkups and see our dentists twice a year. We check our brakes and fasten our set-belts, put our money in banks and double-lock our doors, take our vitamins and do our exercises, but try as we may, there is no avoiding the reality that to be alive is to face risks.

Troubles will come to plague us. Sufferings will come to burden us. And death ultimately will overtake us.

Given this as the condition of life from which there is no escape, given the basic insecurity of life, given this image of ourselves as minute specks in a vast unknown, subject to the flicks of fate over which we have no control, by [...]

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