“Whoever comes to me and does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Sometimes, the Gospel seems like it’s too much to bear. Our passage this week is not the kind of passage you want to hear if you want your faith to be part of your life. But it is the what you want to hear if you want to know that God cares about your whole life. And God does. Our faith, our religion, does not recognize sacred and unsacred spaces, good and bad people, and well-balanced life in which faith plays a significant but not all-encompassing part. No. Our faith is a way of life. It’s hard to do anything else when you’re carrying a cross. They’re pretty heavy and awkward.
I’ll be putting the cross in the context of the moral choices that confront us in the environment this Sunday. There’s a lot of heavy and awkward lifting to do there. Just this week the Pope has added an eighth official work of mercy to the Catholic Church’s official list of seven—it’s caring for our common home.
Here’s the thing about the cross, though. It frees us. Ironically, it means that we have to rethink what we mean by freedom, and a host of other things. But the call to discipleship is also a call to freedom, to a life that that is completely taken up in God. I think that when we find that we only have the cross to hold, the other things that weigh us down disappear.
So, that’s what we’ll be talking about in church this weekend. I hope I’ll see you there.