_"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."(Matthew 16:24-25)_

_*This life we have is a gift from God and it is a precious gift we must value and appreciate. It is given to us to be lived for God and in His honour. When we live it according to the will of the giver (God) we will have the privilege to be with Him in heaven.*_

_We do not live our life for ourselves, we live it for God, because He gave it to us and He will require us to give account at the end of time for this precious gift we have received._

_*He tells His disciples in the gospel reading of today that to follow Him they must deny themselves and bear their cross as He bore His own cross. They must look up to Him and walk in the path He has laid down for them. This will help us to become like Him and stay focused not to be led astray by other gods or people who do not follow His way.*_

_A meaningful and purposeful life is simply the one spent for the glory of God and the good of humanity. If we are going to be welcomed into paradise on the last day, we must use every opportunity we get to do good with what the Lord has given to us._

_*Our daily focus should be to keep spending this life we have in doing what is right and will bring honour to the name of the Lord. We must daily lay down our life for the sake of Christ and through our sacrifices bring joy, healing, peace, strength and upliftment to others around us.*_

_It will be a wasteful life to spend our energy trying to have everything in this life and to gain the world without working hard to do what is right in order to save our soul. If you live for God and die for Him, you will receive eternal reward from Him on the last day. Therefore, do not hoard your life and gifts any more, spend it well positively for the good of humanity and for God's glory and your reward will be great in heaven._

_*Good morning dearest one. Smile😊 as you do your work and do have a wonderful day. May Jesus give you the grace to love heaven above earth. Amen. And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.*_

*Meditation:* Nahum 1:3,3:1-3,6-7/ Deuterenomy 32:35-36, 39,41/Matthew 16:24-28

*Watch-Word:* Anyone who loses His life for my sake will find it.

*You gain nothing by refusing to spend your life for God and humanity, but you gain everything when you pour out your life as a libation for the good of others.*

(Friday of the eighteenth week in the ordinary time. Year II)

*© Rev. Fr. Augustine Eleke*