Monday, March 4, 2019
Jesus sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Then He said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? – Luke 9:21-25
“To be rejected by the elders, chief priests and scribes”, this experience I have known. Rejection by itself does make one right by merely the experience of being rejected, but rather to be rejected for doing what God requires of you. Why was Jesus rejected? He spoke a new way of understanding that would supplant the former understanding and He called for an authentic enlightenment of spirit and conscience. He was rejected for calling for authenticity in a world of hypocrisy; He was rejected for making merciful grace a priority over law and punishment; He was rejected for demanding compassion to replace indifference and self-interest.
Too often I hear a certain breed of Christianity that seem to brandish the cross rather than carrying the cross. They use the cross as a psychological spear. They use the cross for the purpose of fending off sinners and witches according to their own designation. They use the cross not in the manner of humility but in the manner of declaring “I have got it, and you do not!”
Too many, though they rationalize not to be applicable to themselves, who are going after the worldly rewards, Money, fame, even power and prestige, these rewards they seek while slowly, often imperceptibly, they let their soulfulness slip away. Even my own life has been tempted this way.
As we near the season of Lent … may we remember that we are people who carry crosses … we are people who love and serve in our humble ways.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz