And he said to all, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
~ Luke 9:23 (RSVCE)
Jesus takes up the weight of all our crosses and of all the sin in the world. Why then do we need a cross? Is it not because we want to be more like Him each day? To grow in holiness, to challenge others to grow alongside? What cross does our loving Jesus ask us to carry? God who created us, knows us intimately and graces us with the best cross for our salvation. He is the only one who knows which cross we need, to get us to heaven. Maybe it is to bear wrongs patiently, forgive freely, suffer physically or love generously. If this is the way that brings us closer to Jesus and leads us to eternal life, how then, should we carry our cross? What should be our attitude and the disposition of our heart?
Lord, we want to follow you with all our hearts, but we are afraid of what our crosses are. Help us to take up our cross and accept it with the same grace and courage that you did. May we never be discouraged by the trials we face. Help us to follow the path of love and in doing so, to find true joy, remembering that you will never forsake us. Amen
My perception of my husband, who has fits of irrational anger with verbal outbursts made me regard him as a painful cross in my life. A deep encounter with the Holy Spirit opened my eyes: that he was indeed a gift from my Lord to bring me into a deeper union with Him; that I needed him in my life for my salvation; and that God valued me highly enough to entrust this soul into my care to pray for his transformation and salvation.
- I will pray daily for the grace to accept that one Cross which I find the most challenging.
- I will seek ways to be joyful in spite of the daily trials I face.