Today is Friday the 8th of August, the Memorial of St Dominic, in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time.

The Kyiv Chamber Choir sing In Thy Kingdom from One Thousand Years Of Ukrainian Sacred Music.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Matthew.

A jolting challenge for the holiday season: we might feel like saving this cross-carrying for Lent and Good Friday.  This is summertime – and the living should be easy.  But what is this self Jesus tells us to deny and how might we do that, even at holiday time?

‘What will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life?’  We talk these days about selling out, being bought off.  Some people do it big time; but most of us face more subtle temptations to sell out, to compromise on our beliefs and principles for our own advantage, or just because its easier.  What pressure to sell out – even in small ways – do you face at the moment?

As the passage is read again, listen to it this time not as a demand or a threat, but as a promise.

What do I make of this promise from the Lord?  And how do I want to respond to it?