Taking Up One’s Own Cross To Gain New Life

Taking Up One’s Own Cross To Gain New Life

September 3, 2023
14th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Readings: Jeremiah 15:15-21
Romans 12:1-8
Matthew 16:21-27

We often hear the Gospel but do not really absorb and receive what God wants us to know. We do not grasp and understand what He is trying to tell us. Jesus had been spending time with His disciples, making certain they understand His teachings more and more each day as they go along the journey. Christ reveals to them this time that He was soon going to go to Jerusalem and that He would undergo many persecutions and sufferings and eventually die. Peter could not accept this and even told him, “God forbid that this should happen!” We are reminded of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness and how the devil tried to tempt Him in His weakness. But in each of the three temptations, Jesus did not succumb to the devil’s wiles. He did not give in. Going back to Peter, here was someone close to Him. Someone who was being trained by Him who was saying he will not allow this to happen to Christ. The response of Jesus was, “Get thee behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Satan is anything or anyone seeking to turn us away from God. The disciples only heard Jesus saying He was going to die. They did not get the part where He says, “but on the third day, I will be resurrected.” They were focused on the “death part,” that they did not receive the “resurrection part.”

In our own lives today, we often focus on the “death part” and we become fearful. Not realizing that everything has a purpose and that all things work together for good for those who love God. We are faced with temptations everyday. How do we deal with this? Christ wants us to understand that we must have a relationship with Him. It’s not the feeding or the many programs that are offered to the people that are of primary importance but a relationship with Christ. Many times we try to do things our own way but do not really follow Him. Matthew 4:10 “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” In the Greek, “be gone” also means “get behind me.” When John the Baptist was still alive, he was at first hesitant to be the one to baptize Jesus because he didn’t think he was worthy enough. Now Jesus is telling us, “deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow Me.”

We do not want to talk about the cross, when it is the cross that leads to resurrection. Without the resurrection, there would not be any new life. We have failed to be what God wants us to be because we listen to man instead of listening to God. We should not follow the ways of the world. Our responsibility is to stand in the principles of God and have faith in Him. We should take up our crosses and follow Him. If we gain the all world we will lose our lives. In dying, Jesus forgave all. Let’s continue to learn as we go on this journey, dying to self to gain new life.


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