In the Gospel Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” We answer this question by our witness: our actions, our priorities, our service, our love and forgiveness for each other. We are called every day to take up our crosses and lift them high. Our time, talent and treasure are consigned to God and the Kingdom on earth. I once heard a cynic say: “I’d rather see a sermon, than hear one.”
The hymn “Christ Has No Body Now But Yours” (Missalette #225) has a text by St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) that fully describes our mission here on earth. The goal of every Christian on this journey of faith is to live in His way and truth, and to teach by our lives⎯always. To paraphrase the “Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers,” we must grow up as Christians and step beyond just trying to be good people; we must also be good for people. How to do this? Self-denial and sacrifice.
This is the always the challenge for us: to be tired but to visit an aged relative anyway; to rise in the night to comfort a terrified child; to go to work and support your family even when the work is soul-killing; to put aside what we enjoy doing and take care of needed chores and tasks…the list is endless. All of our moments are about how we choose to spend them—and they show who we are and what we believe. Jesus in the Gospel today accuses us of “not thinking as God does, but as human beings do.” We are called to “Lift High the Cross” in moments of self-denial that show who we are as His disciples. This is never, ever easy - we must continue to be practicing Christians in all we say and do.