Sunday Devotional: Take up your cross and follow Him

Matthew 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.”

 

What a grim reading for today.

For the first time, Jesus predicts His impending persecution, terrible suffering, and death by execution. Then, He warns that being His follower is not a path of roses, but one of self-abnegation and suffering:

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

Christians actually have had it good in America, compared to both the early Church and the many persecuted Christians across the world today, especially in the Middle East where Christianity is near extinction. See:

But the days of the comfortable U.S. Christian are rapidly fading, as the light of Christ dims in post-Christian and Left-radicalized America. See:

No matter what the future brings, we are to heed the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 6:10-16:

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

In the meantime, we take strength and solace from our Lord’s words and promise:

“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? . . . 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.”

May the peace and strength of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Steven Broiles
3 months ago

I will say this: 2020 has been a horrible year, and mere survival has become an awful cross to bear.
But I do understand this much: God has allowed this to happen, and we are to bear this cross as penance and as witness to Him.
It’s NOT going to get any easier any time soon.

Reuben G.
Reuben G.
2 months ago

Amen, doctor. I remembered to pray for your difficulties and your husband at mass this Sunday.

TrailDust
Admin
2 months ago

Thank you Dr. Eowyn, for these reminders. When I read this it always makes me stop and evaluate where I stand. My one hope is what Jesus did by His death on the cross and His resurrection. To quote Chuck Missler: “Jesus’ death on the cross was not a tragedy; it was the greatest achievement in history.”