Saturday, July 3, 2010

Take up Your Cross!.

25Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:25-33 )

Letting go means to die to false gods we have turned to and chosen in our lives. These false gods could be power, money, addictions, or our defects of character such as resentments and human insecurities. At one point in my life, following Jesus more closely meant letting go of some of my stubborn pride that I became aware of through the honest feedback of a friend.
Letting go is accompanied by taking up a cross. If Jesus is the disciples’ center, then the cross is their way. The cross is the symbol of leading a persistent and peaceful life in a violent world. This is not a life of avoiding difficulties. They are to move into those places where no semblance of kingdom living can be found and bring the kingdom possibility. To follow Jesus is to use him as a rock to stand on and then put their shoulder to the wheel of the world. When the world refuses to move, the disciples receive its stubborn refusal into their bodies, as did Jesus. Carrying the cross means taking on the healing of the earth in the most radical way. This following of Jesus should not be mindless. The disciples are to think abut what it entails. A decision should be made with all the practical wisdom of a cost-conscious builder and a battle-hardened king.
The Eucharist that we celebrate is not only a participation in the healing love and forgiveness of Jesus made present to us through Word and Sacrament. It is also a commitment to follow Jesus on the road into the kingdom, by letting go of our negative attitudes and hurtful behaviour, and by picking up whatever cross fits into our lives on a daily basis.
Therefore, have faith, let go, take up your cross, and follow Jesus into the kingdom. You will not be sorry.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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