Accepting the cross means accepting reality and living the life I have as Christ taught.
Today’s readings can be found here.
“A disciple is not above his master, nor a servant above his master; it suffices that the disciple be like his master, and the servant like his master. If they called the master of the house Be-el’zebul, how much more will they slander those of his house. So don’t be afraid of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, expressed in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. And fear not those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy soul and body in hell. Aren’t we selling two sparrows for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without the will of your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. So whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge him also before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, he will also be denied by me before my Father who is in heaven.
“A disciple is not above his master, nor a servant above his master; it suffices that the disciple be like his master and the servant like his master. What will happen to us in the end? Hopefully we will end up like Christ. This is not bad news at all. On the contrary, it’s an exceptional spoiler that can help us think about our lives from a radically different point of view.
To end up like Christ does not mean to be nailed to a cross. It means remembering that “the end of Christ” is not the Cross, but the Resurrection.
To spend your whole life trying to escape the cross is to try to escape life itself. The cross is not just wood and nails. The cross is reality itself, the reality of my own life, which nails me to the here and now and prevents me from fleeing.
Our escape strategies are many and we insist on using them because sometimes we are unable to take the here and now seriously. We’re like kids at school, staring out the window, imagining how nice it would be to chase after a butterfly instead.
What’s wrong with that? Apparently nothing. But we must realize that we grow not when we stop fantasizing, but when we understand that dreams need concreteness; they must be grounded in reality. We grow up understanding that the very basic things I learn in school will eventually enable me to not only chase after a butterfly, but turn my life into a masterpiece.
To accept the cross is to awaken to the fact that if instead of rejecting reality, we accept things as they are and live them as Christ taught us, then these “crosses” will not be our final destination, but our Easter, our “passage”. .”
Fear becomes our destiny when we don’t face it. Facing our fear means turning it into something we “go through” instead of our “end”, our “fate”. Everything we run from continues to pursue us. All that we face, pass. In this sense, we must strive and hope that we will end up like Christ: Passing by at Easter.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Diocese of Aquila and teaches philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR “Fides et ratio”, Aquila. He devoted himself to preaching, especially for the formation of lay people and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He is the author of numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has been an ecclesiastical assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and a columnist for the Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano.