The Sacrificial Way

Trinity, Feb. 19, 2021

One of the most striking and disturbing phenomena of our time is the division that is growing on all fronts of society. It does not stop at the national borders. We see this division happening in groups and individuals who fight for their self-interest and, in the process, shut others out — everyone for himself.

As long as we do this, we remain stopped before the eye of the needle, which sooner or later, we irrevocably have to pass through… for there is but one way that leads across the threshold — the narrow way through the eye of the needle. There, we gradually lay down all that we have in order, eventually, to enter the world of the spirit merely with what we are. Gradually — meaning that this high art of living has to be practiced step by step by the highest art of dying. It is the only way to overcome the sickness of the ego, egotism, and yet remain yourself. In different words, whoever wants to overcome his ego must learn to sacrifice.

That is the way Christ shows to the rich man: “Sell all your goods.” That means: Leave all attachment to the world of earthly goods behind. For you can take nothing of it with you to the other side of the threshold. Whether it be earthly possessions or a rich talent, everything we want to hold on to at all cost — sooner or later, we will irrevocably lose it.

This is also the way that Christ shows his followers: to renounce everyone and everything that binds them, in order to have less and less, and be more and more.

Finally, it is the way Christ Himself went, as no other human being. Beyond renouncing, He decided to embrace suffering — to be an outlaw, to be ridiculed, tortured, flogged and killed. It is His sacrificial way, which leads to life out of death.

Contemplation by Rev. Bastiaan Baan