"The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put Him to death." —Matthew 17:22-23
Jesus spoke again to His disciples of His cross and resurrection. "At these words they were overwhelmed with grief" (Mt 17:23). The first time Jesus had broached the subject of the cross, Peter brushed it off, and "Jesus turned on Peter and said, 'Get out of My sight, you satan!' " (Mt 16:23) After the third time Jesus brought up the cross, James, John, and their mother asked for a promotion in Christ's kingdom (Mt 20:18ff). The message of the cross did not register at all. Christ crucified continues to be "a Stumbling Block to Jews, and an Absurdity to Gentiles" (1 Cor 1:23).
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8). He continues to bring up His favorite subject, the cross. Do we refuse to listen, or do we boast in the cross? (Gal 6:14) Will we crucify our "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24), or will we continue "crucifying the Son of God for (ourselves) and holding Him up to contempt"? (Heb 6:6) Through the cross, will we be crucified to the world and the world to us? (Gal 6:14) Will we take up the daily cross of Gospel poverty, penance and sacrifice, an austere life-style, fasting, forgiveness, evangelization, and Christian community? (see Lk 9:23) Let us live the way of the cross and pray with St. Francis of Assisi: "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world."
Prayer: Father, may I stay "near the cross" (Jn 19:25).
Promise: "What does the Lord, your God, ask of you but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow His ways exactly, to love and serve the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul, to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord which I enjoin on you today for your own good?" —Dt 10:12-13
Praise: St. Edith, a woman of extraordinary intelligence, gave her life to Jesus, converted to the Catholic Church, gave up a flourishing academic career, and served Him as a nun.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999