Today’s reading from the USCCB gives the following verse from the Gospel of Luke:
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Sometimes it’s easy to believe that Jesus wants to give us anything we want to have. It can be tempting to think of God as a fairy that grants wishes on a whim. But Jesus expects more from us than superstitious manipulators. To follow Christ we must pick up our cross and follow after Him. It’s not something that is done once, at an alter call or conversion event, but daily. Every day we must pick up our burdens and our suffering and follow in the steps of Jesus. Only if we bring our cross to the Cross of Christ can we truly give it over to Him and therefore experience the transformation to holiness that draws us nigh unto God.