>> Monday, July 14, 2008
First Reading: Isaiah 1:10-17
Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man `against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against a mother-in-law; and one`s enemies will be those of his household.` Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet`s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man`s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple -- amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward." When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and preach in their towns.
"...and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:38It is not easy to follow God`s way. There are many obstacles on the path of Jesus. The cross that Jesus had to carry is far heavier than mine, yet sometimes I refuse to carry my own. Perhaps because I don`t want to be in a difficult situation or have a hard time that I sometimes deny my problems. And I would wonder, why is it that is so much easier to give into temptation than to turn away from it? Why is it easier to lie than be honest to our friends? Maybe because we don`t want to hurt our friend`s feelings? While telling some "white lies" won`t hurt our friend`s feelings, it would leave a mark on the friendship. The reality is that, things just don`t work out for situations and relationships that are built on lies... the eventually go down the drain.
Why would we want the easier way out? Maybe because that is what the devil would want... taking the shortcut instead of following the road. It may be true that while taking shortcuts would get us there fast and easy, we are not sure of the dangers and risks associated with it. But as Christians, we are taught that even if Jesus` way is the hard way, there is a very good reward for it - our salvation. We cannot really appreciate the beauty of the morning sun without experiencing darkness; we cannot really bask with glory in our successes without putting all the hard work into it; we cannot really harvest our fruits without laboring for it. They say, "No pain, no gain" and "No guts, no glory".... I say, behind the cross are God`s blessings.
Still afraid to carry your own cross? Don`t be... God will guide your path... Just keep the faith. God bless.