A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples: "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. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?"
REFLECTION: "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
We cannot be Christ's disciples if we do not carry our own crosses. To receive God's holiness and joy, sacrifice and denial are necessary. We make room for God by emptying our will, our love for ourselves, our selfishness and impetuousness.
The priest, in the person of Christ, is asked to live a life of denial and sacrifice. They are human and frail and need to be lifted up in prayer and fasting.
As we find denial and sacrifice too demanding, so do the priests.
As we start off Lent making lots of promises but half way through Lent we start to falter, so do the priests.
As we have a spiritual warfare in our own souls, so do the priests.
In carrying our own crosses without grumbling, Christ comes to our aid and fills our souls with joy in spite of the pain. For the cross that God asks us to carry has a net worth of love. When we carry our crosses with Christ, we will be shaped into His image and likeness.
We can all meet our penances in day to day annoyances, misunderstandings, and fatigue and how we carry our crosses is how we are sanctified . PAPA prays for the sanctification of priests and we also fast and pray in reparation of their sins and ours.