Meditation: What is the connection between Bethlehem and
Calvary - the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and his passion and
death on a cross? The very reason the Son of God took on flesh and
became a man for our sake was to redeem us from slavery to sin and
death and to give us new life as the adopted children of God. The way
to glory in the kingdom of God is through the cross. If we want to
share in Jesus' glory, then we, too, must take up our cross each day
and follow in his footsteps.
The cost of following and serving the Lord Jesus Christ
Jesus never hesitated to tell his disciples what they might expect if they followed and served him. Here Jesus says to his disciples - This is my task for you at its grimmest and worst; do you accept it? This is not the world's way of offering glory, honor, and success. After the defeat at Dunkirk during World War II, Churchill offered his country "blood, toil, sweat, and tears." Suffering for the name of Jesus Christ is not the message we prefer to hear when the Lord commissions us in his service. Nonetheless, our privilege is to follow in the footsteps of the Master who laid down his life for us. The Lord gives us sufficient grace to follow him and to bear our cross with courage and hope. Do you know the joy and victory of the cross of Jesus Christ?
"Lord Jesus, your coming in the flesh to ransom us from slavery to sin gives us cause for great rejoicing even in the midst of trials and pain. Help me to patiently and joyfully accept the hardships, adversities, and persecution which come my way in serving you. Strengthen my faith and give me courage that I may not shrink back from doing your will".
This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/