Minute Meditations

Take Up Your Cross

hands holding a cross

When Jesus invites us to be his disciples saying, “If any of you want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23), it is not necessarily the safe, comfortable, and sterile use of metaphor with which some have described this passage away in retrospect. Those who envision the cross Jesus speaks about as a figurative device likely forget the next line in the Lord’s address to us: “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24).

Those few friends and family members who stayed behind and perhaps risked their own lives for the sake of their friend and Lord have denied themselves to follow Jesus. And where the fleeing disciples feared the loneliness of abandonment and death that Jesus faced, those who remained discovered something quite the opposite. In Jesus’ words to his mother and his friend John we see the promise of community. He brings together those who have gathered at the foot of his cross and assures them that they will have each other.

—from the book The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

Last Words of Jesus by Daniel P. Horan

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