persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
Dying to ourselves isn’t easy, but it is necessary if we want to be good and faithful followers of Christ. This doesn’t mean we sacrifice our individuality, but rather than our individuality is practiced in a way that mimics Christ’s willingness to sacrifice himself for the good of all. God wants each of us to worship Him in the unique way that only we as individuals can know, love, and serve Him. We do this best by both dying to those things that are not of God and living for those things that are from God. When we persevere through afflictions, perplexing problems, persecutions, harm, and all the other trials, we make manifest the life of Christ in our flesh. We become an incarnation of our Lord and Savior, giving ourselves over to our Heavenly Father just as Jesus did in His Most Holy Life... as a living sacrifice for the salvation of souls.
What things in our lives do we need to die to? What are the things in our lives we should be living for? How can we manifest Jesus more perfectly in our thoughts, words, and deed?
O Lord, make us incarnations of your Way, Truth, and Life.