Jesus began to show his disciples
that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly
from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him,
“God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”
He turned and said to Peter,
“Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
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What does it take to follow Jesus? What does disciple cost us? In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus explains what we must do to be his disciples. The first step is to deny yourself. We have to grow in humility so that we choose Jesus rather than ourselves. Next, we take up our cross. We accept the challenges that God gives us to help us grow, and we embrace suffering, finding the holiness in it. Finally, we follow him. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and when we’re prepared to take on the challenges of discipleship, we’re ready to follow him. Only then can we go where he goes, do what he does, and become like him. Jesus is honest about the difficulties of discipleship, but he still calls us to it and always encourages us. Today, let’s decide to lose our lives for his sake so that we can gain eternal life.
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