My Dear Good People,
On this Thursday after Ash Wednesday we hear in the Gospel a short passage where Jesus lays out the most basic principle of discipleship:
If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:22-25).
I have read and heard this often but I have always concentrated on ‘the cross.’ Today I hear three words twice in four seconds : If anyone wishes…for whoever wishes. How did I miss that all these years? Jesus is reaching out to the deepest desire of my heart. St. Augustine wrote in the fourth century, “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” That’s IT!! Every human soul is longing, yearning, aching for God but I so often fail to recognize it in myself. Here Jesus makes me aware of this desire, and tells me it can be fulfilled! If I can tell Him, Yes, I wish it, I want it, He tells me how to acquire it.
I ask myself, what do I wish for this Lent? What is my passion? What gets me up in the morning? What would I give my life for? The answer for me and for you is not what. It’s Who. Jesus says to our hearts, It is I. According to our state in life, He becomes the sole object of our desire. If it takes the cross of suffering to make Him mine, then bring it on, only help me to carry it. If I have to give up my life for Him, so be it, only teach me to be generous and not to count the cost (St. Ignatius of Loyola). Today let the prayer of our breath be, I wish to follow You. I wish to save my life so I can give it to You. Amen.
Let’s do it together. God bless you.