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Run Time: 16:12. Gospel: Mt 16:21-27.
Our relationship with God is not based on external rituals. Our rituals system, our sacramental system, expresses that which we cannot see in this life. Our relationship with God then is based ultimately on an internal identity … This truth can help us understand one of life’s greatest mysteries – the mystery of the cross. That very difficult saying which we hear in today’s Gospel ‘Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow after Me’. The promise of Christ is different than the promise of ancient religion. We are not guaranteed if we do the right thing, or say the right thing, that we will have a problem-free life. In this fallen world, no one can avoid suffering and loss. Sin, both original and personal, has turned life on earth from a garden of paradise into a battlefield between good and evil. The promise that Christ makes is that at the end of time, when the battle comes to its conclusion and the last thing to be conquered – which will be death – only then, when creation is re-ordered properly as it was intended, only then will every tear be wiped away and evil will be brought to an end, as well as suffering and death. But in the meantime, Christ does not save us by taking away the cross, rather He saves us by inviting us to take up the cross.