Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute

 

Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

February 27, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry 

 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Psalm 1

Luke 9:22-25

In today’s Gospel of Saint Luke Jesus places before us a triple recipe of how to be His disciples; deny self, take up our cross daily, and follow Him.  You may have noticed that our Lord is not asking us to choose among the three items.  There is no choice involved here.  The list is all inclusive.  Let’s look at them a bit closer:

The first is “self-denial.”  Jesus demands self-denial as a necessary condition of discipleship.  Self-denial is a summons to submit to the authority of God and to declare a lifelong war on our individual vanity.  This, in no way, means that our Lord wants us to become “robots” in the way we live out our lives.  The required denial is of our prideful selves in which we are born and sometimes dominates us.

The second is “taking up the cross daily.”  Jesus links self-denial with cross-bearing.  We cannot avoid our cross.  It is always with us and that is why we carry it daily.  We don’t need to go to another place and search for it.  Our cross can be; rejections, difficult marriages, employment issues, financial issues, and so forth.  But carrying our crosses is far more than enduring our individual life hardships.  In Jesus’ day, carrying one’s cross was a requirement for those whom society had condemned.  The cross they carried was their instrument of death.  The cross symbolized a death to one’s sin’s, unfaithfulness and selfishness. 

The third is, “follow me.”  Jesus represents discipleship as a mater of following Him and following Him based on taking up one’s cross and self-denial.  Carnal self would never consent to cast us in such a role.  The German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was spot on when he said, “When Christ calls a man, He bids Him come and die.  Accepting death to everything that carnal self wants to possess is what Christ’s summons to self-denial was all about.” 

Jesus calls us not only to self-denial and carrying one’s cross but the freedom to detach ourselves from gaining the riches of the world.  True disciples are the ones who know, love and follow only one Lord.  Jesus Christ, Himself.

Question of the Day:  Are you willing to eliminate the carnal matters in your life in order to increase your spiritual nature?  

Prayer:  Lord God, give us grace to deny ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to follow Your Son Jesus.   

Prosit  


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat. 

COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY Join us every Tuesday from 5 pm – 6 pm for this new and exciting radio broadcast from Malvern Retreat House on Radio Maria USA. Download the app for Radio Maria or go to the internet at http://radiomaria.us/

 

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