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Homily (Reflection) for Friday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time (I) (09th August, 2019) on the Gospel
 
Deut 4:32-40;
Ps 76:12-16.21. (R. v. 12);
Matt 16:24-28.
Topic: Behind the cross.
In today’s gospel, Jesus said to His disciples,
If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.
Cross in general has very scaring face and many find it very difficult looking beyond the scaring face. However, behind the cross is the glory to be revealed, cf. 1Pt 1:5; 5:1. Hence Saint Paul writes, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). Again, “I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” (2Tim 1:12).
As one runs away from cross, let us remember Christ’s warning, “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn 12:25). To be with Christ, one must carry his/her own cross. We ought to remember always, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1Cor 1:18).
Bible Reading: 1Pt 4:12-19.
Thought for today: Glorification follows suffering with Christ, cf. Rom 8:17.
Let us pray: May God help us see beyond the scaring face of the cross – Amen.
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