September 16, 2018 Sunday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time-B

Isaiah 50:4-9

Psalm 116

James 2:14-18

Mark 8:27-35

So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  James 2:17

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself…” Mk. 8:34

Lord, Peter was ready to see you as the long-awaited Messiah of Israel but he was not ready for the cross.  It took your resurrection and the touch of the Holy Spirit for him to eventually get the big picture.  There is no separation between you and the cross.  Discipleship, by nature, includes the cross.  Like Peter, that is something we all have to learn.  What kind of cross do you have for me?  How can I deny myself or what must I leave behind so I can follow you?    Like Peter, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and have sometimes turned away from the cross.  James makes it clear that belief in the head is not enough unless my faith leads to a life of doing.  May my actions be a sign of my faith in you and acceptance of my cross.  Lord, strengthen me to choose my cross and carry it in peace.  I will fall but I’m confident you are there to help me up and to even share the load with me.  The real blessing here is that the cross is the doorway to resurrection and life forever with you.  Amen.