Gospel: Matthew 10:34–11:1
Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother- in-law. Each one will have as enemies, those of one’s own family.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life, for my sake, will find it.
Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes him who sent me. The one who welcomes a prophet, as a prophet, will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man, because he is a just man, will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is my disciple, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”
When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there, to teach and to proclaim his message in their towns.
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
Donald Senior, professor of New Testament studies at the Catholic Theological Union, de- fined discipleship as “taking up the cross” and following Jesus. But why taking up the cross? Probably, this is the ultimate test of discipleship—being ready to endure suffering and to loose life as consequent possibilities of loving Jesus and loving all that he loves. To suffer and to loose one’s life hit the core of hu- man existence. The call of Jesus is radical in nature. It requires much because it gives all.
The Trappist monk in the movie “Of Gods and Men” did not abandon their monastery and the Muslim community where they live in spite of the threat to their lives. They could have easily evaded execution but chose not to. They were murdered in Algeria in 1996 by Muslim extremists. Taking up the cross means, in their case, loosing their life for the hungry and the sick. Our circumstances might be different from theirs. However, taking up the cross presents itself in various forms. We only have to be attentive to the Spirit to discern what it asks.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019