Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer

“But if he had come down from the Cross, he would have made it impossible for them to believe in him, for he would have substituted sight for faith. That is why he does not take us down from our crosses: so that we do not substitute feelings and experiences for faith. He wants the very best for us, the strongest and most precious gift, and that is faith.― Peter Kreeft (Professor of philosophy at Boston College)

Gospel Text: (MT 16:21-27)
Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“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 will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”

Taking up the cross means that I am willing to let God change me. To change whatever is keeping me from a loving relationship with Him, and eliminating whatever obstacles are keeping me from really knowing His love for me, so that He can continue to build me up into the person I was created to be.  The decision to deny self and to take the cross needs to be made before true discipleship can really begin.

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