September 26, 2020

Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”

In each of the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts that he will suffer and die. In Mark and Matthew, after each prediction, the disciples not only fail to understand but show themselves acting in crass and self-serving ways. Luke, however, is much kinder to the disciples. He focuses only on the predictions of the passion, noting here simply that the disciples did not understand.

Even for us, it is difficult for us to appreciate that God never sends us suffering; it is most often the result of our own foolishness (or that of our ancestors) or the enmity of the world in which we live because our lives are a reproach to the way that they live. When Jesus asks us to take up our cross to follow him, he is not asking us to endure some voluntary suffering; he is asking us to bear whatever results from our commitment to his teaching and his way of life. That is how it works when we love someone; it always requires sacrifice.

The Mass that we celebrate is a stark reminder of that fact. There we commemorate the willingness of Jesus to be faithful to his vocation, of his commitment to God and us, no matter the cost. It would have been easy for Jesus simply to tell us that he loved us. He didn’t; instead, he showed us—by being willing to die for each of us. He then asked us to do the same: to love one another as he loved us.

How can I consciously bear my cross today?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Jesus, help me to love others as you have loved me and continue to love me. May I always be a true disciple, unafraid to take up the cross that is mine.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.