Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I like very much the first reading where this woman of influence did a favor to Elisha who then promised her that she would have a child in one year. It shows us that the smallest act of charity we do for others is not forgotten as we heard last week. God sees all that we do and has the last word.
The story continues and the child is born the following year; however, when the boy is eight years old he suddenly dies and the woman calls for Alisha to come and help. The servant of Alisha tries to revive him but has no luck so Alisha lays down upon him seven times and breathes into his mouth and after a few minutes he becomes warm, sneezes and wakes up. God has given this woman a son and also raises him from the dead as he will do to his own Son. All of this happened because this woman did Alisha an act of charity. God wants to breath into us and help us not to be afraid to live and to speak of him. He wants us to take advantage of situations that arise so God can reach others through you.
In the gospel we hear that following someone is having the same disposition as that person: to think like him, to speak like him, to act like him. And he wants his apostles to detach themselves from their own projects and ideas and relationships in order to participate fully and actively in the only life that matters, his life!! To be a Christian is not just to bring Christ into my life, but Christ is opening the doors of his heart to me. It is like St. Paul who says: I no longer live for myself, but Christ lives in me.
Christ wants us to hate the idea we have of our family and to love them as they are. He is inviting us to love them in Christ, not instead of Christ and to pick up his Cross, not the one that I make for myself, but the one that he sends me.
The cross was an Oriental way of execution and it could not be done to a Roman citizen. We are very used to hearing it and wearing a cross as a necklace but at that time it was extremely harsh image. Jesus wanted his disciples to understand that there was no point that their faith would not take them, even to this kind of death. Imagine the reaction if people saw you with a gold electric chair hanging from around your neck. Or if we were to say there is room in the gas chamber for you, please enter!! This gives us an idea of how shocking this statement of “taking up your cross” must have been for a disciple.
Jesus desires us to see that carrying the cross is my work as a disciple. Take up your cross and follow me is not something passive. It calls for personal involvement, a willing participant, and an arduous effort. Christ wants us to carry his cross, like Simon of Cyrene did. Not just to imitate Christ, but to be a participant in carrying the one, glorious and redemptive cross for all mankind. Christ’s cross and his path are my very, very own and no one else’s.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,