22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

St. Pius X | News
1 Sep 2017

Today Jesus says, “If anyone wants to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” This is not an extreme statement. Actually, Jesus is giving us the common sense wisdom of human life. If you want to follow a medical or engineering or legal career, you must deny too many nights out partying, take up your cross of rigorous study, and follow the professor. If you want to qualify for the Olympics, you have to deny yourself twenty scoops of ice cream a day, take up the cross of brutal exercise, and follow the coach. What Jesus is saying is an insight into life itself: there are no free rides. No cross means no growth. No pain, no gain or no gain without pain is an exercise motto that came into prominence in the early 1980’s. So, being a disciple is serious business. Yet this doesn’t mean that suffering is something Christians should seek. But suffering will inevitably be part of Christian life as it was part of Jesus’ life. But our following of Christ can be in small steps. God is patient. His challenge is an invitation. In practice, what following Christ means is faithfulness to one’s way of life, concern for others in whatever manner, the caring gesture, the kind word – these add up. The Lord does not overlook the painful decision, the unspoken sorrow, the secret suffering. There can be much heroism in ordinary life. There are many more saints than those whom we honor as such.