The indispensable cross
On the journey of faith there comes a time to accept the cross. The cross in today’s readings comes from Jesus’ decision to move forward in his mission in spite of the misunderstanding and criticism by the disciples he loved and the danger it implied.
Peter and the others had been happy with Jesus’ messianic actions of healing miracles. However, they are not too happy when he tells them that the messianic role also means that he will give his life to save and lift-up humanity and that he wants them to follow him. Peter and the others didn’t think they could do it and so they didn’t want Jesus to do it either!
My cross in life will also come from the decision to make changes in my life to follow the Lord. When my experience of Jesus suddenly calls me to give an unpopular but Gospel witness to justice and love, there will be insecurity and fear as well as criticism from others that will want to hold me back. I might, like Peter, think that I can’t do it. Why get into uncomfortable issues like: immigration reform or the struggle for just wages or the plight of thousands of refugees, or the respect for diversity or for caring for the environment, etc.?
It is so much easier to just pray and wait for God’s miracles. But then, what do we do with his words: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me”?
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC