Jesus "began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer much, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be put to death, and rise three days later." —Mark 8:31
Peter reprimanded Jesus for talking about the cross. Jesus doesn't mind a little complaining. He's used to being bawled out. However, Jesus doesn't take kindly to any taking of the cross lightly. So, after Peter took Jesus to task, Jesus turned on Peter and stated: "Get out of My sight, you satan! You are not judging by God's standards but by man's!" (Mk 8:33) Jesus can take a joke, but the cross is no joking matter.
Therefore, we must boast of nothing but the cross by which we have been crucified to the world and the world to us (Gal 6:14). We are privileged (see Phil 1:29) to take up the cross each day (Lk 9:23) and follow in Jesus' footsteps (1 Pt 2:21). Let us 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." Let us sing in love and joy: "Near the cross, near the cross, there's a precious fountain." The cross is the tree of life.
Do a one-minute crucifix novena. Look at a crucifix for at least one minute a day for nine days. "Lift high the cross!"
Prayer: Father, keep me near the cross (Jn 19:25).
Promise: "Did not God choose those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom He promised to those who love Him?" —Jas 2:5
Praise: The seven men who founded the Servites possessed such a unity in the Lord that they were described as being like seven stars forming one constellation.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999