Today is Monday the 28th of April, the Solemnity of St George.

Entering into prayer today, I begin by recognising that I am in the presence of God – not a God to be scared of, but a God of compassion and love, in whose presence I am safe, in whose presence I do not have to defend myself, in whose presence I can be still.  I place myself, my worries and my hopes, my whole life, in the hands of my loving God.

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

There is a fantastic moment in a song from the late sixties or early seventies when the lead singer at the top of his range and on full power sings ‘What have I got to lose?’  In that case, he is psyching himself up for one last attempt to mend a broken relationship, but there are plenty of other situations where we might use the same phrase.  What time in our own life can you remember when those words, “What have I got to lose?” were on your lips?

“What have I got to lose?” can be, quite seriously, a discernment question.  What shall I choose, to continue my life in the comfort zone or take a risk which may or may not come off?  This is what Jesus is talking about here, measuring myself not by my achievements or by the number of things I acquire, but rather on a scale of self-giving, whose high point is the cross.  How does that make me feel? – Challenged?  Uncomfortable?  Relieved?

As the passage is read again: listen to what Jesus says about “those who are ashamed” of him and of his words…

That last sentence quickly conjures up, perhaps, an image of the Last Judgement, where it will be Jesus’ job to speak up for us – for me – to say the best he can about me.  What would I like him to be able to say?  Can I talk to him about this now?