A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
November 16, 2019
Take Up Your Cross
June 18, 2016
Just the other day I was visiting with aparishioner who shared their struggle with accepting the limitations that their age andhealth were recently putting on them and the Scripture we heard in today’s Gospel came alive,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9.23 These words challenge us to examine or perhaps re-examine our lives and our relationship to Christ. So in my visit I asked, as I often do; What do you think God is asking of you as you deal with these issues in your life?
Like so many other faithful people they offered; patience, maybe God wants me to learn patience, for I have never been a very patient person. Then, maybe God wants me to understand that I am not the only one dealing with this and that it may simply be time to accept and live with less; less energy, less mobility, less wellness. Maybe because I am less able to get around God is calling me to sit quietly with Him. Maybe I’ll have more time to pray.
It seems that the crosses people bear are as diverse as people themselves. Each of us is uniquely created as part of God’s plan and because we are not super-human we will be met with challenges in our lives. Sometimes the crosses we bear are of our own doing, a result of choices we made in life and at times the crosses we bear seem to come out of left field and we are caught off-guard. These can be the most difficult. It is then that we are challenged to follow in the footsteps of Christ and learn from him. We must carry our cross and trust that God is with us every step of the way. There is nothing easy about recognizing and carrying one’s own crosses in life, yet Jesus tells us that we are to do this daily if we desire to follow him.
Life is a challenge and I cannot imagine living all the daily trials without the assurance that God is always with us.
Not only does this knowledge bring us strength to endure our struggles, it gives us hope and joy as God reveals to us the true meaning of life and love. When Jesus speaks about denying ourselves he is warning us not to put ourselves first above all else, rather, deal with who you truly are, what you are capable of or not which changes with each passing day. Denying ourselves as the most important of all helps us to draw closer to Christ and to the people of God. Carrying our cross daily may very well mean that we are not, nor ought we be, the center of the universe. Rather, God is, Jesus is, and at times we simply need to get out of our way, pick up our cross and enjoy the journey with and to the Lord!