First Reading: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 1
Gospel: Luke 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?" (Lk 9:22-25)
During this season of lent, we have an opportunity to grow in our faith and as God's people. This is a time to accept God and all that He gives us, rather than reject Him as the priests and scribes did. This is a time to embrace our own crosses in life, and realize that it is our cross that we carry during this faith journey that is going to lead to everlasting life in heaven. It is only by carrying our cross that we can follow Him who carried the cross for our sake. Let us never think of our cross as burdensome, but rather as something that we do out of love for God.
I came across the following story, and I really thought that it offered an interesting reflection for today's gospel reading. Take a few moments to reflect on the following story "Choose your Cross":
One day, a man went to the Lord and said, "Help me, Lord....I can't take this suffering anymore. Please give me a different cross to bare.” So, our gentle Lord said, "Come with me." All of a sudden, the man and the Lord were standing in a huge room with every kind of cross imaginable. Some were small, some large, others beautiful, some ugly, etc.....The Lord said to the man, "Now you look around and pick out another cross you'd like to carry." Happily, the man searched and searched and finally found one. He said to the Lord, "Lord, Lord, I will take this one." The Lord just smiled and said, "My dear child, that is the same cross you came in with." In other words, we all have a custom-made cross, uniquely designed for us. The cross God gives you to bear is the very one He knows you can handle. It’s designed just for you, and you will be the one that becomes a better person because of it. (take from http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2007/08/choose-your-cross.html)
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are so good to us, thank you for your abundant love and mercy. Lord, we praise you for all that we have and all that we are, and we praise you for the gift of our lives. Lord, help us to have the courage to follow you no matter what, and may we never think of our crosses as burdensome, but rather as blessings. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.