Take up your cross and follow Jesus! Fr. Georges R. Bidzogo
How do we follow Jesus? What space does Jesus have in my live! Are we aware of the cost of following Jesus!
Our profession of the Faith implies acceptance of Jesus glory of but first and foremost the cross. It is not easy to accept the cup of suffering. The two sons of Zebedee (Mt20:20; Mark 10:35) never thought of it but only on sitting straight at his left and his right. It is easy to see the promotion ahead, the glory ahead, the success ahead, the honors and dignity ahead, but we don’t anticipate the daily challenges including the devils along the way. It was written that the Christ, the Saviour, Jesus “must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.” (Mark 8:31-32). Although Peter received the divine revelation, it was not easy for him accept the suffering Messiah. The cross is threatening, yet that is the way. The truth is that, we often enjoy walking along the glorious Jesus while denying the crucified Jesus, yet it is in the cross that he confirms his Lordship and his kinship. “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Mt27:54). We love the miraculous, the powerful Jesus but more often deny patient failing Jesus (Mark6:5). Brothers and sisters, discipleship is all about our acceptance of the cross of life in daily basis in our various ministries and levels of lives: family, church, schools, work; sickness and daily trials with expectant faith and hope. This acceptance started during our baptism, we have been baptised into Christ death and even being buried with him so that we may also rise with him in glory (Rom 6:3-5). Walk then in a newness of life. Give your life to God. This implies giving God the first place, the priority: hence we are asked not to despise ourselves, or our siblings but to die in our extreme focus on ourselves and in what we love most including: including mother, father, sister, brother, money I-phones, nice shoe, nice houses and expensive cars. The main of today’s message is to die to self in order to allow God to have a bigger space in our lives; to deny any form of selfishness, self-centredness and open our heart to be more charitable like the wealthy woman of Shunem in the first reading (2Kings 4:8). She welcomed Elisha the prophet, and she receive prophet’s blessing. Charity opens our heart for God’s blessing. Is it not by giving that we receive and is it not by dying that we are born for eternal life! I here stand on the prophetic word and by virtue of my priestly ministry to declare that “At this season, when the time comes round your dearest wish and heart’s desire shall be fulfilled” in Jesus’s name! Just take up your cross and follow Jesus!