“Lord, why me?” by Melanie Blaszczak, Fiat Ventures

Flickr User Kelly Short

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Have you ever asked the question, “Lord, why me?”  Maybe it was an embarrassing situation where you spilled coffee all over your shirt at the beginning of the school day and had to walk around like that until the last bell.  Or, maybe something more serious. I know of one woman named Maggie who was all too familiar with that question.  She was a mom of two little children and on her 40th birthday she went to her doctor because she wasn’t feeling well. After a few tests doctors concluded that Maggie had a brain tumor and only had three months to live. When the doctors told Maggie this news, she looked up to the sky, her eyes welled up with tears and she whispered, “Lord, why me?”

Those are two pretty extreme examples on opposite ends of the spectrum. But all of us have crosses to bear in this life. Some are small and others are big. Some of them we cause by the consequences of our own actions, and others we have no control over. Suffering is real, and “Why me?” is a natural question to ask. Then as Christians, we remember these words that Christ proclaimed in the Gospels, “whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

Jesus not only convicts our hearts to follow him but He also promises us the strength to carry that cross. As Christians no matter what kind of cross we have to carry, Christ will always be with us; we only need to go after Him…to follow Him on our way to our Calvary.

Today in the Gospel, Jesus speaks to every Christian heart about how one can become one of His disciples. Jesus knows that our desire to be his disciples vs. our desire for this world tears us apart, a sort of spirit vs. flesh that St. Paul talks about. Jesus knew that these words would we challenging to hear for those who wished to follow him. Everyone in this world has a cross that can bear incredible weight, suffering, or pain but with Christ “all things are possible.”

This week let us respond to Christ’s radical call to be His authentic disciples. Let us pray that today we can have the courage to take up our crosses in this life and follow Christ; the big ones and small ones alike.  Let us also pray for more strength and perseverance to run the race that has been set out before us for our end goal will be eternal life with Christ. Let us pray through those famous words of St. Paul as he said, “for when troubles arise your grace abounds ever more.” So pick up your cross this week and follow Christ and then you will truly know what it means to be a disciple. St. Paul and all you holy disciples pray for us!

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