Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)
Today’s Passage: Mt 16:21-27
Meditation: Today’s word of the Lord reveals hard demands from our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to follow him a disciple should do at least three things: forget his self, carry his cross, and follow Jesus. Of the three demands the first one is today’s focus of reflection, for among the three demands I find the first one as the most difficult one. Definitely, if the first is fulfilled then the other two are, I hope, rather easy. What is the meaning of denying one’s self? It clearly means that the discipleship is completed only when one is able to say “no” to his self and “yes” to his master. It is really the denial of one’s ego. This is otherwise called abiding totally in the master. Now there are no more two entities, but only one. Jesus prayed to the father in the garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, however, but your will be done.” (Lk 22:42) Jesus surrenders his will to the father’s will. The two different entities become now one and the same. St. Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20) It is also clearly expressed in another way in the words of a simple woman, Ruth to her mother in law Naomi, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I lodge; your people shall be people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die – there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you.” (Ruth 1:16) How daring and challenging it is! Unless the self of the either partner be emptied or forgotten, the family life will be of hell. Let us first therefore learn to say “yes” to God and “no” to our ego so that in our relationships also we will be able to surrender ourselves for the better cause.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, we are by your grace managing ourselves to carry our own crosses of daily difficulties and hardships. With all these we do find time to follow you by attending masses, praying rosaries, and doing some charity works etc. But there are moments in our life when we are asked to deny ourselves, obey unconditionally, suffer in our life and so on. Here, Lord, we do fail often. We are indeed in need of your help. Amen!
Greetings: Take courage God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Sunday…