“Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. The man who loves his life loses it, while the man who hates his life in this world preserves it to life eternal” (Jn 12). It takes great faith to die willingly. Jesus implies that spiritual change is a kind of death. This ‘deaths is not instantaneous, and it takes great faith to persevere while we are being changed. Not only will we benefit by our sacrifice and renewal but others will benefit by our witness.
The goal, of course, is not to die. The goal is life eternal and the joy and peace which begin even now. Disciples of Jesus have a positive outlook on life. We want to live and we will live if we trust Jesus and follow him, no matter what. That trust is what distinguishes those who merely proclaim the Lord, from true disciples who follow his direction and show others how to find a new life.
I believe, Lord, that you will raise me up, beginning even in this life. When I weaken remind me of your faithfulness. Make me an apostle of your saving love.