“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily
and follow me.”
As we now begin a new liturgical season, the Lenten Season, the Gospel today is
reminding me of the invitations of the Jesus to his disciples. To me, these are also the
requirements of Jesus to be His disciple – to deny oneself, to take up one’s cross and to follow Him.
First is to deny oneself. In following Jesus, I must forget myself. This is one of the
reminder of Jesus, to be able to forget oneself and be a man ready to serve other people. The second is to take up my own cross. In following Him, I should be ready to sacrifice everything. I should be ready to let go of the things that are not really important and be able to put Him always at the center. Lastly, follow Him. The Gospel today is a reminder for me to continue following His commands; that His will is more important than my will. To be able to do that, I must listen to His words and be able to live them out.
As a priest-in-process, these are the three important ingredients to be able to fully
follow Christ. Following Him, is not a one time process. It is saying yes every day to His call. A daily denying of myself, daily carrying of my own cross and following Him daily.
By Sem. Renz Marion Cunanan
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”