Friday, August 5, 2016

Who are the saints, prophets and martyrs who inspire you to follow Jesus on the path of love by carrying the cross? - Daily Reflections August 5, 2016

As Jesus moved one step further in His teaching, some of His followers walked away. Following Jesus entails conditions unacceptable for some. It involves solidarity with His mission and destiny. This is difficult to understand especially when we are exposed to violence that destroys innocent lives. We are also tempted to walk away. Why do we need to take up the cross? How can the cross be God’s way of redeeming humanity?
       Like the disciples, we may be afraid and confused. But Jesus invites us to journey with Him to Jerusalem and the cross. He wants us to be willing to lay down our lives for the suffering humanity and to follow Him on the path to martyrdom for the coming of God’s reign of peace. When God embraced the cross, He absolutely expressed His solidarity with us.
       As we go with Jesus to face a world of injustice, we need to prepare ourselves. We have to re-learn the lessons of the Gospel. As we carry our cross — the cross of the world — we walk in the spirit of creative love to disarm the world. To be a disciple of Jesus is to carry the cross. We are called to freely submit ourselves to all kinds of suffering which humankind is afflicted with, like fear, anxiety, physical hunger and thirst, pain and death. To be in solidarity with them is to be near to the crucified people of modern times. In losing our lives, we find true life.
     Albert Nolan in his book, Jesus before Christianity, expresses the wisdom of Jesus’ teaching in living a life of service for the other. He said, “To save one’s life means to hold on to it, to love it and be attached to it and therefore to fear death. To lose one’s life is to let go of it, to be detached from it and therefore to be willing to die. The paradox is that the person who fears death is already dead, whereas the person who has ceased to fear death has, at that moment, begun to live. A life that is genuine and worthwhile is only possible once one is willing to die — willingness to die for others.” Fr. Alex Balatbat
REFLECTION QUESTION: Who are the saints, prophets and martyrs who inspire you to follow Jesus on the path of love by carrying the cross?
Jesus, help me to walk with You for the healing of the world. Give me the grace to rise up to new life and follow You more closely for the rest of my life. Amen.

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