There is an often-overlooked element to self-sacrifice that today’s gospel highlights: to pursue holiness, self-gift must be done for someone, and Some One. Often in prayer and in daily life, spirituality becomes a self-improvement project. Periodically relinquishing the things that provide security and control in our lives can bring personal growth, but doing it in Jesus’ name (v. 29) means that the force behind the self-gift is a kernel of hope in God’s love for his beloved (which is you and I!). When Peter asks, “what will there be for us?”, Jesus re-orients him to that hope.

Self-gift must be done in the hope of God’s promise of eternal communion. Let God’s love for you fuel a kernel of hope for a beautiful future with the One who loves you most deeply!

—Michael Lamanna, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the U.S. Northeast Jesuit province, just completed his philosophy studies at Loyola University Chicago.