CARRY YOUR CROSS. HE WHO WILL SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT
17. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the Prophets (Luke, 6: 22 & 23).
18. And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? (Mark, 8: 34-36. Also Luke, 9: 23-25; Matthew, 10: 39; John 12: 24 & 25).
19. Jesus said: "Rejoice when men hate and persecute you for My sake, seeing that you will be recompensed in Heaven." These words should be understood in the following manner: Consider yourself blessed when there are fellow creatures who, by their ill-will towards you, give you the opportunity to prove the sincerity of your faith, seeing that the evil they do to you will only result in your benefit. Lament their blindness; however, do not curse them.
Then He added: "Take up your cross, all those who wish to follow Me," by which He meant that you must courageously support the trials and tribulations which your faith may bring about, since the one who wishes to save their life and their property by renouncing Christ will lose all the advantages of Heaven; while those who lose everything here in this world, even to their life, for the sake of truth, will receive a prize for courage, perseverance and abnegation in the future life. But to those who have sacrificed the heavenly benefits for earthly pleasures God will say: "You have already received your recompense."