Carriers of the Cross
23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year C
My brothers and sisters, in Sunday’s Gospel Jesus addresses a very demanding teaching to the crowds:
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
To reject everything entails making room for God in one’s heart, life, actions, and thoughts. This is a lifelong process and is not easy because we are consumed with worries and cares about people and things that are passing away: getting promotions, paying our bills, the welfare of our children, obtaining the next best thing. And in the midst of this, we often forget about the very God who should be the center of our lives. We treat Him as the guardian of our own business and interests, rather than our Almighty God and Creator Who is worthy of all of our love and devotion.
As Jesus said, to follow Him also means to carry our crosses. Our cross is the people, situations, and things that are difficult for us, and cause us to suffer. For one person this might be a difficult family member, while for another the cross might be food addiction, fear, insecurities, or physical disability. What is the best way to cope with our crosses? First, we must be humble and never hesitate to ask Jesus for His help and strength to carry our cross. A humble person also knows that carrying the cross always becomes easier when he lovingly embraces it, rather than rebelliously trying to cast off its weight. And someone who is humble knows that only Jesus really has the ability to love the cross, and only He can grant the graces necessary to shoulder and embrace the heavy burden.
While Jesus’ teaching is very demanding, He is always here and ready with outstretched arms to help us follow Him, to guide us, to encourage us, and to love us along the way.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 129Tags: #carrythecross, #fatherarthurmarat, #frarthurmarat, #olwparish, #reflection