Embracing our Cross

If anyone wants to become my disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Mt. 16:24).

As we continue our reading of St. Matthew’s Gospel and enter more fully into the Mystery of Our Lord’s identity and mission as the Messiah come in the flesh, we learn in today’s Gospel passage that if we wish to follow Jesus we must do so on His terms, not ours; no matter how well-intentioned we may consider ourselves to be. Surely, this is the case with St. Peter who rebukes Our Lord who had begun to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering…and be killed and on the third day be raised (Mt. 16:21). St. Peter is rebuked with these strong words: Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are thinking not as God does, but as humans do! (Mt. 16:23). There can be no authentic Christian discipleship without the embrace of the Cross, for the Cross and all that it implies is at the heart of the Christian faith. There are, it would seem from what Our Lord says to Peter, two ways to approach this mystery: as God does and as humans do.

We who profess our faith in the Crucified Christ acknowledge Him to be the power and the wisdom of God (1Cor. 1:23). As such, Our Lord’s Cross and to some extent, our own crosses are the means by which we come to know God and to experience His power at work in and through us. In the embrace of the Cross we come to know the true nature of God and we make known His saving wisdom. Christ Crucified proclaims self-giving, self-sacrificing love as the means of our fulfillment.

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In Wake of Kenosha Violence, U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for Committee Against Racism Urges Day of Prayer and Fasting

Friday, August 28 marked the 57th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington where Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. In this historic address, he proclaimed that when the builders of our nation wrote the words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, “they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism offered a reflection on Dr. King’s iconic words on the anniversary:

“That promissory note must be satisfied. On this Friday’s anniversary, in the midst of our country’s ongoing racial unrest, we restate our commitment to peacefully seeking racial justice. We stand in solidarity with Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, which serves the City of Kenosha, who earlier this week said, ‘Violence can never be the means to attain peace and justice. The Church stands as a beacon of hope. The sins of violence, injustice, racism, and hatred must be purged from our communities with acts of mercy, with the protection and care for the dignity of every human person, with respect for the common good, and with an unwavering pursuit of equality and peace.’

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Pope Receives Credential Letters of Ambassador of Japan to Holy See

On August 29, 2020, the Holy Father Francis received in audience HE Mr. Seiji Okada, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See, on the occasion of the presentation of his credential letters.

Here are the essential biographical notes of the new Ambassador:

HE Mr. Seiji Okada, Ambassador of Japan to the Holy See was born on June 2, 1956. He is married and has two children.

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