FRIDAY 6TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL COMMENTARY. “WHOEVER WISHES TO COME AFTER ME” (Mk 8:34-9:1).
He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you ,there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”
- “There is no doubt about it: a person who loves pleasure, who seeks comfort, who flies from anything that might spell suffering, who is over-anxious, who complains, who blames and who becomes impatient at the least little thing which does not go his way — a person like that is a Christian only in name; he is only a dishonour to his religion; for Jesus Christ has said so: Anyone who wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross everyday of his life, and follow me” (St John Mary Vianney, Selected sermons, Ash Wednesday).
- Do we flee from the Cross and all that it entails: effort, sacrifice, suffering, difficulties, problems, tiredness, sickness…instead of embracing its manifestations and offering it to Our Lord?
- Do we easily complain, give in to anger, pessimism, despair or rebellion when Our Lord decides to share us the load of His Cross?
- Our Lord’s requirement means that we must renounce our own will and all that is incompatible with following Christ in order to identify ourselves with God’s will for love.
- Let us not forget of our condition as creatures, elevated by God’s mercy, to be his children. As such, we have to ensure that Our Creator and Father’s Will be done, and not the other way around.
- There are those many people who “would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that that wherein they find not their own will and pleasure is not the will of God; and that, on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied. Thus they measure God by themselves and not themselves by God” (St John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul, book 1, chap. 7, 3).
- Jesus shows the route to take — denying oneself (that is, saying no to pride, lust, laziness, selfishness… and attachment to temporal goods), taking up one’s cross (illness, small or great contradictions, a difficult person, even perhaps one’s spouse and fulfilling God’s will — to reach our ultimate destiny to which God has called us: heaven.
- Let us never forget that no earthly — impermanent — good can compare with the soul’s eternal salvation. As St Thomas rightfully expressed: “the least good of grace is superior to the natural good of the entire universe’’ (Summa theologiae, I-Il, q. 113, a. 9).
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