Gospel: Lk 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the elders and chief priests and teachers of the law, and be put to death. Then after three day she will be raised to life.“
Jesus also said to all the people, “If you wish to be a follower of mine, deny yourself and take up your cross each day, and follow me! For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. What does it profit you to gain the whole world, if you destroy or damage yourself?“
Choosing Life in Christ
In the desert Moses challenged the Israelites to make a decision. Either to follow the path to life or the path to death. To follow the Law was life; to disobey the Law meant death. The Israelites had to make the choice. In the same way, Christ challenged his disciples in today’s Gospel. To follow Christ and his Gospel or to choose the world and its fruit, damnation. We are invited to choose Life; we are invited to choose to follow Christ.
Choosing Christ is not quite attractive, though! Jesus does not mince his words. “If you wish to be a follower of mine … take up your cross…“ To choose Christ is to accept the cross. Not easy! It is not easy to be good to those who are bad to us. It is not easy to love the unlovable. It is not easy to forgive those who have wronged us. It is not easy to suffer humiliation. It is not easy to be accused of a wrong you are not guilty of. It is not easy to suffer for the sake of others. It is not easy to die.
So that we may learn to follow Jesus and take up our cross, the Church offers to us the Via Crucis as our prayer and penance for the season of Lent. Through our meditation of the Via Crucis we will not only understand the Cross that Christ had to carry but also be encouraged to choose life in Christ, to follow Christ on the way to true Life!