The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name. John 14:26
If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:10
If ye … being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23, 24
Ye have not, because ye ask not. James 4:2
When … the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13, 14
They rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. Isa. 63:10
What think ye of Christ? Matt. 22:42
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Psa. 24:9, 10
He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev. 19:16
Unto you … which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. I Pet. 2:7
Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. I Cor. 1:23, 24
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. Phil. 3:8
Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. John 21:17
August 7, 2020
Friday of the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
There is a very important word in this statement of Jesus. It’s the word “must.” Note that Jesus did not say that some of you may have to follow me by carrying your cross. No, He said that whoever wishes to follow me must…
So the first question should be easy to answer. Do you wish to follow Jesus? In our heads that’s an easy question. Yes, of course we do. But this is not a question we can answer only with our heads. It must be also answered by our choice to do what Jesus said was a necessity. Namely, wishing to follow Jesus means denying yourself and taking up your cross. Hmmm, so do you wish to follow Him?
Hopefully, the answer is “Yes.” Hopefully, we resolved deeply to embrace all that is involved in following Jesus. But that’s no small commitment. Sometimes we fall into the foolish trap of thinking that we can “kinda” follow Him here and now and that all will be fine and we’ll certainly get into Heaven when we die. Maybe that’s true to a certain extent, but if that’s our thinking then we’re missing out on what life is all about and all that God has in store for us.
Denying yourself and taking up your cross is actually a far more glorious life than we could ever come up with on our own. It’s a blessed life of grace and the only path to ultimate fulfillment in life. Nothing could be better than completely entering into a life of total self-sacrifice by dying to ourselves.
Reflect, today, on whether or not you are willing to say “Yes” to this question not only with your head, but also with your whole life. Are you willing to embrace the life of sacrifice to which Jesus is calling you? What does that look like in your life? Say “Yes,” today, tomorrow and every day through your actions and you’ll see glorious things take place in your life.
Lord, I do wish to follow You and I choose, today, to deny all my selfishness. I choose to carry the cross of selfless living to which I am called. May I embrace my cross with joy and be transformed by You through that choice. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saints of the Day –
Source of content: mycatholic.life
GOSPEL READING: Matthew 16:24-28
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 27 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
Meditation: What is the most important investment you can make with your life? Jesus poses some probing questions to challenge our assumptions about what is most profitable and worthwhile. In every decision of life we are making ourselves a certain kind of person. The kind of person we are, our character, determines to a large extent the kind of future we will face and live. It is possible that some can gain all the things they set their heart on, only to wake up suddenly and discover that they missed the most important things of all. Of what value are material things if they don’t help you gain what truly lasts in eternity. Neither money nor possessions can buy heaven, mend a broken heart, or cheer a lonely person.
The great exchange – my life for His Life
Jesus asks the question: What will a person give in exchange for his or her life? Everything we have is an out-right gift from God. We owe him everything, including our very lives. It’s possible to give God our money, but not ourselves, or to give him lip-service, but not our hearts. A true disciple gladly gives up all that he or she has in exchange for an unending life of joy and happiness with God. God gives without measure. The joy he offers no sadness or loss can diminish.
True freedom and gain
The cross of Christ leads to victory and freedom from sin, despair, and death. What is the cross which Jesus Christ commands me to take up each day? When my will crosses with his will, then his will must be done. Are you ready to lose all for Jesus Christ in order to gain all with Jesus Christ?
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all your works, and muse on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders, who has manifested your might among the peoples.
15 You did with your arm redeem your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. [Selah]
20 You led thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Walk as Christ has walked, by Caesarius of Arles (470-543 AD)
“When the Lord tells us in the Gospel that anyone who wants to be his follower must renounce himself, the injunction seems harsh; we think he is imposing a burden on us. But an order is no burden when it is given by one who helps in carrying it out. To what place are we to follow Christ if not where he has already gone? We know that he has risen and ascended into heaven; there, then, we must follow him. There is no cause for despair – by ourselves we can do nothing, but we have Christ’s promise… One who claims to abide in Christ ought to walk as he walked. Would you follow Christ? Then be humble as he was humble. Do not scorn his lowliness if you want to reach his exaltation. Human sin made the road rough. Christ’s resurrection leveled it. By passing over it himself, he transformed the narrowest of tracks into a royal highway. Two feet are needed to run along this highway; they are humility and charity. Everyone wants to get to the top – well, the first step to take is humility. Why take strides that are too big for you – do you want to fall instead of going up? Begin with the first step, humility, and you will already be climbing.” (excerpt from SERMONS 159, 1.4-6)