Today’s Gospel is a corollary to yesterday’s. In yesterday’s Jesus stated that his means for saving us would be his acceptance of every suffering and humiliation thrown at him. In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that our way in taking part in his salvation would be our accepting every suffering and humiliation thrown at us. Simple, isn’t it?
Each of us in his or her heart of hearts has an awareness that “I” am made in God’s image and likeness. Each of us feels that it is only right that this inner wonderfulness that is “me” should get what it deserves. We go through life looking for plaudits.
But, without giving up on our self-appreciation, with the minds God gave us, we must see that we are only reflections of the real thing, which is God. What’s more, if we have any sense, we’ll see we are surrounded by millions of others who are made in God’s image and likeness. They too deserve something close to adoration.
But the pull of self love is so strong that to free ourselves for giving God and neighbor what they deserve, we must work hard at curbing self love. Taking the cross as the symbol of every kind of hardship, Jesus tells us we can only avoid the hazards of self love by taking up our cross every day.