August 11, 2023, Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-A ST CLARE, VIRGIN

Deuteronomy 4:32-40

Psalm 77

Matthew 16:24-28

“All this you were allowed to see that you may know the Lord is God…”  Dt. 4:35

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross… Matthew 16:24

Lord, the last thing your disciples wanted to hear was that they must endure a cross to follow you.  The Roman cross struck terror in the eyes of the people. It was to be avoided at all cost.  Jesus, no one can say you sugar-coated the conditions of living in your kingdom on earth. You laid out the choice before us. We can choose to follow the ways of the world by seeking power, fame, money and pleasure. Or we can commit to serve others, accept radically different values and, yes, maybe a cross. Moses tells us to look for the divine power that freed the Israelites and led them to the Promised Land. Jesus, you showed us the way:  obedience to the Father, embracing humility and total dedication to the Father’s will. This commitment doesn’t come easy but your grace does. I do not face the cross alone for without you and the power of your Spirit I would fail. You have been so good to me to this point in my life. There’s no reason you will not continue today.  St. Clare pray for me.  Amen.