Jeremiah 20:7-9, Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, Matthew 16:21-27
My Beloved, having yielded to Your will and having given my life to You who loved me even unto death on the Cross, grant that I may return that love with all the love and passion I am capable of.
Help me not to count the cost for it is as nothing compared to the future You have in store for all who are faithful.
Those who belong to the world will always corn and ridicule the Way that leads to life. Help us not to be afraid of being persecuted and mocked for it is better to obey and fear God than men. Beloved Jesus, let there be a fire in my whole being if I should refrain from living the Gospel.
My Beloved, it is so difficult not to be shaped by the world and conformed to it for we are being bombarded by its demands and its aggressive intrusion into every area of our lives. It takes great moral courage to refrain from being dragged into the mire of popular opinion, fashion, morals and tastes which is the way of death. But You have shown us a better way - a life of sacrifice is a life that is pleasing to You as it is a life that satisfies, fulfills and brings with it joy and peace.
Our lives can only be transformed if we yield completely to grace received through the Sacraments. How do we renew our mind? By exposing it to the light of wisdom in Your Word and the teachings of the Church. In order to discern You will, I need to be filled by Your Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who is my Comforter and Guide - He will lead me into the Truth.
Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
My Beloved, You are my God, I belong to You. It is You I need, You I long for. It is for You along that I am hungry and thirsty. I am like a land that is arid and parched and my whole being yearns for You as dry land longs for water. I look at You my Beloved and I am satisfied for You return my look of love and longing with so much greater ardor than mine/ My Lord it is better to die loving You than to live long without knowing You and experiencing Your great love.
All my days I will recall the many blessing You have granted me and i will sing your praises with a heart filled with joy. Thank You for feeding me with the heavenly manna that gives me strength on my journey in this valley of exile and tears.
You are my help and I cling to You safe in the knowledge that no harm can come to me when I am close beside You.
Sin inevitably brings suffering but not all suffering is due to sin.
Sin is separation from You my Beloved who are all good and deserving of all my love and when I am separated from You, life loses its meaning, purpose and savor.
After Peter declared You to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God and You commended him declaring that only God could have revealed this truth to Him, You began to reveal Your mission. It entailed suffering and death, but You also spoke of rising again on the third day.
Suffering is never welcome or easy under any circumstances and so Peter, speaking in the flesh took You aside and chided You for speaking about such an uncomfortable subject. However, You knew that this was Your Father's will which is in direct opposition to what Satan wills. Suffering is a part of our mission if we are to take it seriously.
Following You leads straight to the Cross, there is no getting away from it. We are called to preach a crucified Christ for it is through the Cross alone that we are saved. I too am invited to pick up my cross daily and follow You.