Monday 6 September, 2021

Hebrews 2:14-18

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Catholic priest Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to be starved in the place of Franciszek Gajowniczek (died 1995), a Polish army sergeant, in Auschwitz concentration camp.  Kolbe at the age of 12, had a vision from God.  He was given 2 crowns, one white and one red and was asked does he accept these crowns, he replied YES.  The white = I should live a life of purity.  The red = I would be martyred for my faith.

Kolbe went on to study, become a priest, serve on the mission field in Japan, China and India and returned to Poland in 1938.  He set up a radio station and monastery when WWII broke out.  His monastery became a WW2 hospital and where he hid more than 2,000 Jews.  As a result, was sent to Auschwitz. 

He was sent to die in the starvation cell as punishment, here he taught his cellmates to pray.  He was the only one who survived and eventually was given a lethal injection.  Today, in Auschwitz, this cell holds a memorial.

This scripture reminds us that Jesus chose to become like us – “he had to be made like them (you and me), fully human in every way”, in order to fulfil His purpose – to become the sacrifice for you and me. 

Each of us are called to live a life of sacrifice to God, by giving our lives in service for Him. 

At times when I want to complain or say “why me”, I remember Jesus who gave His all for ME (and for you).  Matthew 16 v 25:  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

In sharing the story of Maximilian Kolbe, I ask myself a question: What does sacrifice look like for me?

Lord Jesus, you gave everything for us, because you love us.  Lord, help me, help us to live a life of sacrifice.  May we hold nothing back from you.  Help us Lord to live the way you want us to live.  We want others to see Jesus in us.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

Written by Ps. Sue Botta

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