by Sister Annette Koss
In the Gospel of Matthew, we are invited to be faithful to our true identities which involves living with the tensions that come from opposition. The heaviest cross can be the one that comes from being grateful and accepting of our God-given and God-blessed selves.
Jesus invites the disciples to follow Him by being faithful to their relationship with Him which has made them who they are.
We can be quite concerned about doing the right things at all times. Is God watching? Jesus asks for a more interior following of Him as He lived by His showing up as who He interiorly knew Himself to be. His cross was more than the wood of Calvary, but the flesh and spirit, the history and destiny of his whole life. He was who He had heard He was, the "Beloved of the Father."
Jesus offers us the personal embrace of our limited reality. We speak of pain-avoidance as a process of not facing the truth of our pains. Our culture promotes cross-avoidance, the most painless and easy ways. We are called to face our history, our present condition and our unknown future. We are called to have a more interior and God-centered thinking pattern. The cross is not an event of time, but the time-bound movement toward our own Jerusalem's and resurrections.