"Isn't that... Catholic?"
3rd Annual AEF Conference Nears

Where's YOUR Cross?

Cross_jose_luis_guitierrez_2 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23

Despite the clear instructions of our Savior, cross-bearing is rarely seen in today’s comfort-driven culture.  We want to hear about the blessings we can have, the power we can tap into, as well as all the love, grace, joy and peace that is ours.  But when it comes to giving things up for a greater good, when it comes to denying ourselves rather than living how we damn well please, well… we tend to avoid and ignore those type of voices.  Because of our depraved human nature, we don’t like being told how to live – even when it comes from the Savior who gave his life for us.

Years before he was crucified, Jesus was already living a life of self-sacrifice – consistently choosing God the Father’s will over his own.  In part, that’s why he could insist that his disciples must live the same way.  In Jesus’ day, the cross was well-known as the instrument of execution (much like the electric chair or gas chamber today).  In parat, what Jesus meant by “take up your cross daily,” is that every day, we must voluntarily crucify any thoughts, desires, or plans that would otherwise distract us or prevent us from pursuing God’s plan for us.

When the desire rises in our heart to follow Jesus, we are, by inference, given a cross – not to hang around our necks, but to hang our souls upon.  But don’t let this frighten you. Daily taking up our cross is the sort of self-discipline whose benefits far outweigh the discomforts.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

Are you growing dissatisfied with your quality of life?  Are you weary of trying to fix things or make things better on your own?  Jesus has already told you what you must do.

So where is your cross?  What have you done with it?  Isn’t it time you find it?  Isn’t it time you start denying yourself more often, taking up that cross daily, and following the Savior who has given so much for you?

May God help all of us to do no less.

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Photo credit: © José Luis Gutiérrez, iStockphoto.com

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