18th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 7th August 2020

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SS Xystus II, Pope & Comps. Martyrs

18th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 7th August 2020

Nah. 2:1,3; 3:1-3,6-7; (R. Ps.) Deut. 32:35-36;
39,41; Mt. 16:24-28 (Ps Wk II)

Today’s Gospel reading refers to the conditions for following Jesus and the cost of discipleship.

A disciple of Jesus has to be ready to ‘deny’ oneself and be prepared to shoulder the ‘cross’ as an imitation of Christ. This would entail the surrendering of one’s life to God and embrace the struggles and sufferings as part of discipleship. So, we cannot think of Christianity without the Cross.

We are invited to reflect what it means for us today in terms of ‘denying oneself’, ‘taking up the cross’ and ‘following Jesus’. This is our challenge every day in different situations as Christians.

In the first reading from Nahum (which means ‘comfort’), we draw lessons from the fall of Nineveh. We recall how prophet Jonah was sent to announce its destruction, and the people repented. So, the destruction was temporarily averted.

However, Nineveh reverted to its extreme wickedness, brutality and pride; and it was overthrown. Nineveh caused its own downfall!

In contrast, a disciple of Jesus is humble, ready to deny oneself and carry the cross that leads one to the eternal kingdom of God.

Where are we on this journey?

“Lord, grant us the strength to remain steadfast in our faith and to reflect this conviction in our daily life.”

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