24th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B): WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST?
- SUMMARY OF IDEAS OF TODAY’S READINGS.
- WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST?
- REQUISITES TO FOLLOW CHRIST
- Isaiah describes the total self-surrender and trust of the Servant of Yahweh, submitting himself to the humiliations without any complaint:
“The Lord God opens my ear that I may hear; and I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; … the Lord God is my help; who will prove me wrong? (Is 50:5–9a)”
- In the Gospel (Mk 8:27-35), Our Lord Jesus Christ asked the apostles about the people’s idea of who He is and their own idea of who He is, to which Peter excellently replied and professed his faith in the Divinity of Jesus: “You are the Christ.” Then, Our Lord foretold His Passion, Death and Resurrection to his apostles, to which Peter, out of his zeal and love for Our Lord, “took him aside and rebuked him”. Our Lord reprimanded Peter with strong words saying: “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do”, in order to insist on the primacy of the fulfillment of God’s plan of Redemption.
- In the 2nd reading (Jas 2:14–18), St. James reminds us that “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? …faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”
- There is no other way if we are to live Christ’s life. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t think that Christ’s way is a sad, killjoy, miserable path! No! CHRIST’S WAY IS A WAY OF LOVE. And love knows how to renounce and sacrifice oneself to make the beloved happy. LOVE AND SACRIFICE ARE INSEPARABLE for love entails self-giving for the good of the beloved, although it may demand sacrifice. A person who is not willing to sacrifice himself for the beloved is a person not capable of loving for he loves himself more than the other.
- We need to say “NO” many times to our disordered inclinations –pride, envy, sensuality, greed, anger, vanity, gluttony− out of love for God (always!). This requires a daily interior struggle, again out of love for God and humbly beginning again, standing up each time we make a fall.
- It comprises bearing cheerfully and out of love for God the “LITTLE CROSSES” OF EACH DAY , for example, struggling against our laziness and other , a small headache, an unexpected change of plans, bearing cheerfully the tiredness after a hard day’s work, fulfilling a daily schedule of piety, patience in family life, or a traffic jam, heat, cold…;
- or the “HUGE AND HEAVY CROSS” of illness, death, family problems, calumny, persecution, unemployment, natural calamities, injustices….
-Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei. CATHOLICS STRIVING FOR HOLINESS. We are also in Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness Hope you like our page and invite your friends as well to do so in order to help more people.PHOTO: Juan de Mesa, “Cristo de la Buena Muerte” (1620) ,Capilla Universitaria, Sevilla