Homily for Friday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Take Up The Cross
By: Fr Gerald M. Musa
Homily for Friday February 18 2022
Many of us who are baptized Christians can be classified as casual, passive, and nominal Christians. We are neither ready nor willing to make much self-sacrifice for the sake of Christ. To be a Christian is not a bed of roses, but a tough life. Therefore, Jesus emphatically states the cost and condition of discipleship: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). “Whoever” (anyone) means any believer, irrespective of age, status, gender, race, or group may voluntarily, freely, humbly, and patiently follow him. To deny self is to give up our natural tendency to be arrogant and to relinquish inordinate comfort, position, or status. To take up the cross is to suffer, endure, be disgraced, and afflicted for the sake of Christ. The cross symbolizes suffering, persecution, trials, and troubles Just as the road to success is marked by many sacrifices such as putting in extra time and extra energy, also, the path leading to salvation requires battles, suffering, sacrifices, detachments, discomfort, struggles, hunger, thirst, restlessness, labour, attacks, and selflessness (2 Cor. 11:23-27). Nothing good comes easy. No wonder the book of Proverbs says, “To the godly afflictions are often as necessary as meat and drink; for prosperity is as a dead sea (1:32). Are we ready and willing to imitate Jesus and follow his footsteps by patiently carrying the cross of persecution and trials placed on our shoulders?
MARK 8:34-9:1 Friday, 6th Week