Hard But Not Impossible

GOSPEL Friday, August 8, Feast – St. Dominic, Priest

Matthew 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples,
“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 will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

Reflection:
This Gospel has been a pivotal point for my life – at key or major moments to get me through and every day in a thousand little deaths to self. Accepting the specific cross He gives, fashioned just for us to get us home to Him is our biggest challenge and our largest blessing as Christians.

In a previous post I mentioned that when I struggled desperately with losing our baby, Jesus gently came to me and told me “My Father asks hard things.” But how do you handle these hard things? If He asks you to shoulder something, He will give you the grace, strength, gifts, whatever you need to deal with it. First you must accept His will so you can see them- openly laying down your wants for what He knows you need- “take up your cross, and follow” in the model of Jesus.

Second, understand that what God asks of you will not necessarily be the same things he asks of others. You cannot compare your cross to someone else’s and expect to be happy. Like the story you have probably heard many times, when given the chance to walk out with a different cross, you pick up the one you came in with. Acceptance of the cross He fashioned just for you will lead you to Peace.

Third- Some things will seem much harder than others. He will ask you to grow in faith and trust in Him, but God will never give you more than you can handle to get there.

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