Thursday, February 15, 2018

“All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them. “

“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work.” - Dietrich BonhoefferLife Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

Gospel Text: (LK 9:22-25)

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Then he said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?"

The following of Christ for us would most probably not entail the physical cross and suffering Christ himself embraced for love of us. What is Christ asking of his followers when he demands that his followers "deny yourself [themselves] and take up your [their] cross each day and follow me"?

Christ is asking his followers to deny themselves and not be centered on self, to put others ahead of self in what they do, to take inconveniences and suffering in imitation of the suffering Christ. He is asking that at times we give up certain pleasures and delights to be like so many men and women who lack even the barest necessities of life. He is asking that we accept the many daily crosses that come in our lives to be more like Christ.

To follow Christ is to be obedient like him to the Father's will for us.

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