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Clergy Reflection: Monday Of The Third Week

Monday of the Third Week

“If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” This doesn’t seem like a very enticing invitation. You know, sometimes our Lord’s words even appear frightening or discouraging. “Deny yourself?” That’s not a very popular idea in today’s world. “Take up your cross?” What does it mean to take up some- thing that, during the time of Christ, was a symbol for torture and death? “Follow me.” What exactly is this path that our Lord invites us to follow? And what will it mean for our lives? On this 3rd Sunday of Lent, in the middle of our Lenten journey when some of us may be getting tired from our fasting and our increased spiritual disciplines, the Church offers this Gospel reading and lifts up the symbol of the Cross, not as a means of discouragement but of encouragement! When we understand the Cross, and what it means to “take it up,” or when we understand the blessing of “denying ourselves” and allowing Christ to replace our ego, then we can comprehend this saying of our Lord in its fullest sense.

Fr. Luke Veronis