“‘Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.’” – Luke 14:27
Yesterday’s readings point toward the importance of overcoming timidity in our faithful lives. We must not be afraid to suffer for, work for, and trust in God.
In the Gospel reading (Luke 14:25-33), we see that a Christian life demands the abandonment of earthly attachments. We must be willing to sacrifice “all [our] own possessions.”
In the Old Testament reading (Wisdom 9:13-18), we find a portion of Solomon’s prayer for wisdom. In this prayer, he pleads for God to send him wisdom through the Holy Spirit, and he emphasizes that we know little without It. This demonstrates a bold trust in the Lord, and it reminds me of Proverbs 3:5 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”
And in the responsorial psalm (Psalm 90), we proclaim that God is “our dwelling place in all generations” and we make another plea for wisdom. Recognizing that God desires us to take up our own cross and that nothing is good without Him, we also beg that God will show favor to us and “confirm for us the work of our hands.”
It is worth noting that yesterday also commemorated the birth of the Virgin Mary.
Mary, the Theotokos (Mother of God), was anything but timid. She believed in God, and humbly accepted Him-incarnate into her womb, saying to the angel Gabriel, “may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Not only that, but she raised God through His earthly childhood. And even though she was certainly stressed over this at times (Luke 2:41-51), she devoutly carried her heavy cross throughout her life, always trusting Him.
We must, like the Virgin Mary did, “prove [ourselves] doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude [ourselves]” (James 1:22), but to do this, we will have to overcome our instinctive timidity.
(All verses are from the NASB translation, unless otherwise noted.)