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Monday, January 31, 2005

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St. John Bosco

Hebrews 11:32-40
Psalm 31
Mark 5:1-20

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are you a loser?

"Before long they were begging [Jesus] to go away from their district." —Mark 5:17

The people of the Gerasene town had lost two thousand swine to drowning (Mk 5:13). They intuitively realized that if Jesus stayed around, they would lose even more things, so they told Jesus to leave.

The Gerasenes cut their losses and cut their costs by asking Jesus to leave. We cut our losses when we refuse to lose our lives or lose anything further by getting more deeply involved in the kingdom of God. But "what profit does he show who gains the whole world and destroys himself in the process?" (Lk 9:25)

As followers of Jesus, we must embrace the fact that we are losers. We lose money, friends, homes, possessions (Mt 19:29; Heb 10:34), and even our very lives (Lk 9:24). In fact, the more closely we follow Jesus, the more we wind up losing (Jn 3:30).

If we beg Jesus to stay in the center of our lives by continuing to lose all for Him, He pays the price for our sins Himself (1 Cor 6:20). When we cut our losses by expelling Jesus from our lives, we decide to pay the price for our sins ourselves. However, that cost is impossible for us to pay (Ps 49:8-9; Mt 18:24ff). If we cut our losses by cutting out Jesus, we become eternal losers.

With St. Paul, let us declare with all our heart: "Those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil 3:7-8).

Lose your life for Jesus (Lk 9:24) and lose your eternal guilt.

Prayer:  Jesus, never let me be parted from You.

Promise:  "You heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to You." —Ps 31:23

Praise:  St. John Bosco took in one and then another and then many "little ones" beloved by the Good Shepherd. Soon he had a thriving ministry that saved the lives of these "little ones."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004