Then he went on to speak about his upcoming suffering, saying: “the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” It was the first time that he spoke openly about this.
Peter then took Jesus aside after these words and rebuked him for this. We do not know what he rebuked Jesus for. For saying it out loud, for putting people off by mentioning Jesus death? We do not know what he meant. Jesus in turn rebuked Peter by saying: “Get behind me Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.”
After Jesus had rebuked Peter he called the crowd (that was there) and his disciples with him and said: “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?” Living for the sake of the world and losing one’s life for the sake of the Son of Man and the gospel are contrasted here. Living for the sake of the world, saving ones life, means losing it. Losing one’s life for the sake of the Son of Man, for the Gospel, means losing your life, but saving it.
Again Jesus speaks here of suffering. For whoever will follow him has to loose his life in order to gain it.
Reading this passage I wondered:
Firstly, what does it mean for me to deny myself, take up my cross, follow Jesus and lose my life for the Son of Man, in order to gain it?
Secondly, what does it mean for me to live for the sake of the world, and losing my life?
For the first question I have drawn Temperance, from the Motherpeace Tarot.
On the card a wild dancer is pictured. In a ritual dance she heals wounded parts and integrates lost parts of herself. She does it the night at the seashore, but this act of healing and integration could happen anywhere and anyplace. The elements play an important part in the card: fire, water, earth and air, all are there, working together, making the perfect mix and balance. I always see this card being on the right place and moment. All seems to help. It is a card of creating your own life out of all the parts of it, making a wonderful mix out of it. A happy card.
Thus, to take up my cross, deny myself and lose my life for the Son of Man means healing and integration.
The Motherpeace cards are round and for each position in which they come up, there is a different meaning. I have pulled the Temperance card with the top to the left, meaning that I am not yet able to heal old wounds or integrate lost parts of myself. I am not ready to do that yet. That is very, very true. The issues that I am having with giving and the theme of sacrifice are not worked through yet. I have not found a balance in them. So, I cannot take up that cross yet and heal it.
The card that I have pulled as an answer to the second question, what it means for me to live for the sake of the world, and losing my life as a consequence is Ten of Cups.
On this card people are thanking for rain which will give them a good harvest. They reach out the heavens and in that to each other.
I have pulled this card reversed, meaning that living for the sake of the world is being ungrateful for what heaven and earth are giving me, being greedy, wanting to have more and more and spill things; being isolated and angry; not being grateful for my family and friends.
Being grateful -to complicate things now- means again here ‘not living for the sake of the world’ but denying oneself (the position of following Jesus); for me it means loosing anger and healing wounds (Temperance).