Last week a friend reflected on his recent diagnosis and treatment for cancer. He joked how he was being asked to follow the advice he so frequently shared: surrender and trust in God. Unlike my friend, when my way of life is threatened or is challenged, my instincts lead me away from surrender and trust and closer towards self-preservation.

In today’s Gospel, with Jesus threatening their influence, power, and way of life, the Jewish religious leaders look beyond what God may be asking and respond with their interests in mind. While their decision helped lead to Jesus’ death, it was Jesus’ choice to surrender to his Father’s will that led to something greater than death, his resurrection.

As Holy Week approaches, may I seek the opportunity for new life and move beyond the areas in my life where selfishness and self-preservation prevail. Can I open myself to God’s call and have the courage to follow the models my friend Jesus puts forth, through trust and surrender?

How might you be called away from selfishness so you can surrender more fully to God’s will?

—Andy Rebollar serves as Pastoral Associate for Parish Life at St. Pius X Parish, Grandville, MI.