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Homily

THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY: LUKE 9:22-25: THE CROSS AS THE LADDER INTO GLORY AND ETERNAL LIFE
By Augustine Agwulonu
Thu, 11 Feb 2016

THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY: LUKE 9:22-25: THE CROSS AS THE LADDER INTO GLORY AND ETERNAL LIFE

Jesus engaged in a monologue with a two-audience and a two-content structure. He spoke first to his disciples. He announced to them what the future held for him - crucifixion, death and resurrection. Then, Jesus directed his second monologue to his other followers. He told them how they can be his followers successfully - they must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.

We can say that Jesus lived his life in the shadow of the cross. Jesus was neither hysterical nor stoic about the cross. He simply expressed the reality of it in his life and his readiness to accept it. He was aware that the cross was indispensable to his earthly sojourn and ministry. On the other hand, it was necessary for him to prepare his disciples for cross event. He also had to teach his other followers the importance and indispensability of the cross to their own journey with Jesus. He needed to teach them that their fate is inextricably tied to their own. This is Jesus's ministry of truth to his followers. But what does it mean to bear the cross daily? Did Jesus also carry the cross daily?

Luke did not say anything about how Jesus's disciples and followers responded to what Jesus told them. This is the reason I term this passage a "monologue." However, Jesus's followers must have thought to themselves what it meant for them to take up their cross and follow him. The cross is a universal experience for all Christians. But each Christian has his or her peculiar way of carrying his or her cross.
Let me put it this way: whatever you find difficult, stressful, painful, overly exerting, either before or while doing it, that can be said to be your cross. Those things, which you would rather not like to come your way, or which you would not want to do, but still you have to do them are your cross. If you bear them with patience, faith and hope in God, in Jesus and through the power of the Holy Spirit, then you can be convinced that you are taking your cross and following Jesus. Your duties in your Christian life are morally binding on you. This is Jesus's message to those who wished to follow him. But why must they go through the way of the cross?

The way of the cross is the way to abundant life. It is the way to glory. It is the way to become human according to the mind of Christ and the Spirit of God. The cross is like the walking stick we need to hike the mountains of life and existence. It is the ladder to climb into eternal life. Christ used it to ascend to his glory. And his followers, who are faithful in bearing their crosses would ascend into heaven with Jesus. The Lord Jesus did not only reveal God to us, but he also revealed the cross and it's saving value to us. So, if we can embraces Jesus's revelation of his Father to us, the. We must also accept his revelation of the cross to us. It is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who turned the cross into the tree of life.

 

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