Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Invitation to Follow Christ isn’t Offered Blindly

Jesus Christ invites each of us to join Him at the Cross of Salvation saying, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8.34) At first glance, this is an invitation to suffering, and we can’t imagine accepting such an offer. In fact, many today reject the idea of suffering, going so far as to suggest that Christians only suffer because we sin or lack enough faith. This is just not true.


What is true is that we Christians will suffer whether or not we live as “good Christians” every day. But what is truer is that Jesus doesn’t make this offer without first understanding, first hand, the suffering He is calling us to in the first place. St Paul reminds us, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4.15) When Jesus invites us to join Him at the Cross, He remembers the pain and suffering from experience. He was mocked, lied about, beaten, spit upon, and eventually crucified, for our salvation.


While we complete the third week of the Great Fast, the Church reminds us that while we are suffering in our fasting, Jesus also fasted for forty days. While we are struggling to deny our selfishness by taking up our cross, we should remember that Jesus first took up His Holy Cross. He knows our struggle…..He also knows our blessings to come at the Resurrection.


Embrace the fast this year and join Jesus Christ at the Cross of Salvation. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4.16) Does this sound like a God who is blind to our suffering? “We have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” (Hebrews 4.14)

No comments: