Today’s Gospel: Luke 14:25-33
Recently, I heard a priest give a poignant homily about suffering: “Everyone wants to follow Jesus when there are miracles, when there are healings; when there are signs, wonders, and good feelings. Everyone wants the Resurrection, yet hardly anyone wants to follow Jesus to suffer with Him at the Cross.“
Indeed, in today’s Gospel, Jesus lays down some difficult guidelines for His disciples: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Carrying my cross doesn’t sound particularly enjoyable. I would much rather leave my heavy old cross behind and bask in feelings of comfort and happiness with my friend, Jesus. And yet, Christ’s message is crystal clear: when we choose to follow Him, there will most certainly be hardship.
It wasn’t until I was a young adult that I realized the words ‘disciple’ and ‘discipline’ look, sound, and mean something very similar. I finally understood that, to be a good disciple of Jesus, I would have to discipline myself to live the Christian life when it was filled with pain and difficulty, as well as when I experienced consolation and joy.
It is not an easy path, this journey with Christ. It can seem, sometimes, to be overwhelmingly rife with pain and suffering. But as we take up our cross each day and follow Him to His crucifixion on Calvary – if we can just persevere and cling to Jesus through times of difficulty and darkness – we will surely experience the illuminating resurrection of Easter Sunday in the saving embrace of Our Lord once more.
Have I ever hesitated to follow Jesus when times are tough? How might I strengthen my resolve to choose to follow Him even when I don’t feel like doing so?
Dear Jesus, give me the faith to trust that You will never forsake me on the road to Calvary. Help me to continue to fight the good fight of faith through good times and bad, realizing that, so long as I walk with You, all shall be will. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Heather Renshaw
Receive CatholicMom.com newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning!
* indicates required