Discipleship is a doing thing. We are asked much, as Christians, and so it should be. Jesus was asked much, too, by dying for us on the Cross.
We need only read the lives of the saints, though, to see that we are not necessarily asked to do great deeds: just small deeds in a great way. St Therese was the exemplar of this. Monastic life offers us a fertile ground for such a way of life. But it needn’t be only monks and nuns who can take on such a spirituality. All of us are called to take up their cross and follow Christ.
We are not asked to brutalize ourselves, but to forego some of our passions, luxuries and inflated ego for the glory of God. Why is this so difficult? But it is; in fact it is one of the trickiest things to do. It can feel like dissolving our personhood. But if that is how it feels, it is just a reminder that we have become egotistic, and are further away from God than we thought.
We do not want to lose the reward that is already playing out as we build the kingdom of heaven. We want to become the saints that our disciple forbears have become. And so, we ask our Good Lord for the strength and the sustenance to live for him, and to take up our cross in his name.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew 10:37-42
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows :
‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me.
Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me.
Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me.
Anyone who finds his life will lose it;
anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me;
and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me.
Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward;
and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward.
‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple,
then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.