Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. — Psalm 40:5
Mass Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 / Luke 9:22-25
Losing to Win
In today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that to save ourselves, we must lose ourselves. St. Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879), foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, stands out in my memory as someone who exemplified this paradox. To assist the elderly poor in France, she established 15 houses serving 1,500 people with 300 sisters following her lead. Recognized for valor, she won prestigious awards and rubbed elbows with celebrities.
Then, the bottom fell out. Without rhyme or reason, the order’s advisor demoted her from rank of Superior, banishing her to anonymity in a country home. Jeanne accepted the blow unquestioningly and for 36 years lived in quiet contemplation and humble service to the resident novices who didn’t know she was the foundress. Forsaking any claims, she relinquished all credits to Christ and cheerfully fulfilled her duties unto death.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me serve You faithfully, especially when the limelight dims.