2 March
Lk 9:22-25

The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.’ Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?

Ever since I read Johann Tauler’s comment (14th century) I always remember it when I read this text.  He said, “Jesus did not say, ‘Take up my cross,’ but ‘Take up your cross.’” 

Here is the full paragraph: “We should not forget that the sick man whom our Lord healed at the pool had lain there for very many years. This sick man was created not for death but for the glory of God. Oh, if only we could possess the depths of our souls in true patience, just as this sick man waited for thirty years for God Himself to come and heal him and tell him to walk! How different from this are the people who make their first beginning in the spiritual life and then give it all up because wonderful results are not produced immediately, and complain against God as if He had done them an injury. How few people there are who possess this excellent virtue, who can wait and endure and stay as they are, suffering sickness and bondage and temptation until the Lord Himself sees fit to heal them. Truly, this is why He does not tell them to get up and walk and take up their beds and be cured. If we would only endure the imprisonment of this world, never seeking to escape until the Lord Himself sets us free, what a splendid thing that would be, dear children, what strength and mastery it would bring us. Then indeed the Lord would say to us "Stand up." We would no longer lie there helpless, we would escape from all our imprisonment, we would be unbound, set free, at liberty to walk away, and we would truly take up our beds, for we should now have the power and strength to pick up and carry the thing that was carrying us before.”


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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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