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Thursday, March 1, 2001

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Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1
Luke 9:22-25

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what is your cross today?

"Jesus said to all: 'Whoever wishes to be My follower must deny His very self, take up his cross each day, and follow in My steps.' " —Luke 9:23

The meaning of life and of Lent is to be and make disciples for Jesus. His plan is to send us to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19). To be Jesus' disciples, we must do nothing less than to lose our lives for His sake (Lk 9:24). Disciples "live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up" (2 Cor 5:15; see also Gal 2:20). We lose our lives and thereby save them by denying ourselves (Lk 9:23). Self-denial is done in many ways, but the key to godly self-denial and Christian discipleship is the recognition and acceptance of our daily cross (Lk 9:23).

The daily cross is:

  • suffering in the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10),
  • freely chosen (see Jn 10:18),
  • carried with forgiveness for those who have sinned against us,
  • being crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19) by dying to self (see Jn 12:24),
  • a privilege (Phil 1:29), and
  • a great joy (Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13).

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize your daily cross for each of the first ten days of Lent. Bearing these crosses is the key to Christian self-denial and to discipleship.

Prayer:  Father, may I be such a disciple that I will make disciples this Lent who will themselves make other disciples.

Promise:  "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life." —Dt 30:19

Praise:  After Carolyn finished RCIA, the program to inquire into the Catholic faith, she invited her mother to her Bible study.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our book, The Challenge of Making Disciples in a "Culture of Death".)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000