“To know the Cross is not merely to know our own sufferings. For the Cross is the sign of salvation, and no man is saved by his own sufferings. To know the Cross is to know that we are saved by the sufferings of Christ; more, it is to know the love of Christ Who underwent suffering and death in order to save us. It is, then, to know Christ.” ― Thomas Merton: (1915 –1968: was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic)
Gospel Text: (MK 8:34—9:1)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
He also said to them,
"Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power."
We all have crosses to bear.
We tend to get upset about an awful lot of little things. There are relationships being damaged minute by minute over a social media post. Being stuck in traffic on the way to work, car trouble, a messed up order at a restaurant can put one right over the edge. After I get upset over something, I find myself asking myself if it was really worth it. In the grand scheme of life, why did I let one of these inconveniences ruin my day—or sometimes several days?
Jesus tells us to get over ourselves. Don’t let these little things get to us. Think of others. What could the server who messed up the order be dealing with? Perhaps she was trying to figure out how she was going to care for an ill parent, her children, and work two jobs without a reliable mode of transportation?
Take some quiet time to reflect on some of the crosses you are given daily. How big is the cross? Is it really significant in the bigger picture, or merely an annoyance? What kind of lesson may a cross help you learn? Pray on your crosses, pray for strength for others who have crosses to bear. Trust that you will get what you need to carry your cross—all you have to do is ask Jesus.
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”