In today’s gospel, “Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, "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 and that of the Gospel will save it.” (Mark 8: 34) This passage speaks to me of the upcoming season of Lent. In less than two weeks we will begin the Lenten Season.
As I reflected on this passage I was struck by the number of “crosses” each one of us bears daily. We never fully know what someone else is carrying in their heart. Our world is in terrible pain and many are very distressed over this. People are ill and dying which is another source of pain.
There are times when I find myself getting upset over little things. Being late for an event, missing a deadline, getting the wrong meal at the drive thru and forgetting something can push me to my limit. Once I have calmed down I find myself questioning was it really worth all the energy I wasted being upset? Did it really inconvenience me or ruin my day?
This is when I can hear Jesus telling me to stop getting so upset over little things and to think more of others. It is the invitation to learn a lesson from the little crosses in life and see the bigger picture. I know that I have the ability to carry these crosses but that I can only carry them peacefully with Jesus’ help. Remember to pray for those who have greater crosses to bear.
Pat Schifini, OSU