< <  

Monday, July 11, 2005

  > >

St. Benedict

Exodus 1:8-14, 22
Psalm 124
Matthew 10:34—11:1

View Readings
Similar Reflections

nothing but the cross

"He who will not take up his cross and come after Me is not worthy of Me." —Matthew 10:38

We are Christians, disciples of Christ. We follow Jesus, Who saved us not through His power or wisdom, but through His ministry of suffering. Jesus came to earth to die on the cross to atone for our sins, pay the price for our salvation (1 Cor 6:20), and reconcile us to God (Col 1:20).

We must never spiritualize our faith and forget that Jesus suffered horribly in the flesh (Heb 5:8). We just can't follow Jesus merely from the hope that He can do great things for us. That treats Jesus as a "sugardaddy," denying all that He is and the reason He came to earth. Jesus died a disgraceful death. He was publicly humiliated, scorned as a condemned criminal. He Who was holy and innocent bore a cross meant for a murderer (Lk 23:25).

We Christians imitate Jesus. That means we take up our cross each day, deny our very selves, and follow in His footsteps (Lk 9:23). This is impossible in our human nature. Through our baptism into Jesus' cross and death, however, we become sharers in the divine nature (Rm 6:4; 2 Pt 1:4). Now we can embrace the cross as Jesus embraced His cross. In the logic of the cross, by taking up our cross, we discover who we are (Mt 10:39).

If you falter carrying your cross, remember that Jesus understands. He fell several times carrying His cross. He knows the cross is heavy but He also wants you to experience the joy in sharing in His sufferings (1 Pt 4:13). So cross off your list anything that leads you away from Jesus' cross. Take up your cross.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I know nothing but Your cross (1 Cor 2:2). May I be crucified to the world and the world to me (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "Broken was the snare, and we were freed. Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." —Ps 124:7-8

Praise:  St. Benedict worked miracles, prophesied, and wrote a rule of monastic life which has been used by monks for centuries.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 20, 2004

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.