Take Up Your Cross

livemoreParents do not wish bad things to happen to their children. Good business people do not want the economy to go sour. Healthy people do not want illness. We don’t want it to rain on our picnic! We have a natural instinct to avoid what we perceive as bad for us. We want good things in life.
Yet we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus telling us to act contrary to our human instincts! He is telling us to lose our life; to deny ourselves; to take up the cross! No wonder Peter rebukes him. Jesus teaches his disciples to let go of the old self so a new self can be given. Jesus’ followers must deny themselves, let go of self-will, human way of thinking in order to find Life. And it will take a lifetime to embrace this new Life.
The challenge is to let go so God can lead us. We are called to surrender ourselves. This is not without cost to us: lose our impatience with others; lose our insistence on having our own way; lose our desire to be comfortable with the familiar to move us toward new Life. In all of these and many other we are allowing God to refashion us into new selves imbued with new Life in Christ.