Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday June 19, 2016
A Reading from the Gospel according to Luke
Once when Jesus was praying by himself,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He scolded them
and directed them not to tell this to anyone.
He said, “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.”
Salesian Sunday Reflection
Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that if they wish to follow him they must deny themselves and bear their daily cross. For St. Francis de Sales, to deny oneself is to let go of all loves that are not of God, so that God may fill us with divine love. As for bearing crosses he notes.
The crosses we encounter in the streets are excellent, but still better are those we find at home. In the measure that they are insufferable are they of more value than are fasts and all that austerity can invent. Crosses of our invention are never worth much. We make them ourselves, and consequently they are less transforming.
The life of Jesus confounds those who overthrow all the sayings of the Gospel The true Christian places all of his or her holiness in the wisdom of the Cross. This wisdom is wholly contrary to that of the culture. To bear our crosses means that we are willing to endure labors, persecutions and reprehensions for the sake of justice.
Do not desire crosses greater than the ones you presently must bear with patience. We must not desire martyrdom if we lack courage and patience to bear the little crosses that come to us each day. We are often presented with great desires for absent things that we will never encounter in order to divert our minds from present things that, small as they may be, might benefit us greatly.
You may feel powerless when you embrace your daily crosses. This feeling of powerlessness helps us to place ourselves in God’s hands. Our Savior desires that our lack of power be the seat of His power. What we do not expect from our own strength, we do expect from the grace of God, whose divine goodness is always present in us.