Voices ever ancient, ever new. Ordinary Time Week 6: Friday.

“He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Saint Caesarius of Arles comments on this verse from today’s Gospel Reading:

“What does this mean, “take up a cross”? It means he will bear with whatever is troublesome, and in this very act he will be following me. When he has begun to follow me according to my teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many who not only deride but even persecute him. Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the church, but also of those who seem to be in it visibly, but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds. Although these glory in merely the title of Christian, they continually persecute faith ful Christians. Such belong to the members of the church in the same way that bad blood is in the body.8 Therefore, if you wish to follow Christ, do not delay in carrying his cross; tolerate sinners, but do not yield to them. Do not let the false happiness of the wicked corrupt you. You do well to despise all things for the sake of Christ, in order that you may be fit for his companionship.” (Sermons, 159)

O God,
Who teach us that You abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by Your grace
as to become a dwelling pleasing to You.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!