“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion?” (Gospel for Sept. 8, Lk 14:27-28)
In more than four decades as a priest and bishop, I’ve been involved with building a number of new churches and schools. We often start by “dreaming big.” Then reality hits: What are we willing to spend? Jesus is asking each of us a similar question about our life of faith. In our lifelong journey to become saints, are we regularly sitting down to consider the cost and fully prepare ourselves to pay it? My brothers, above all other things, may we always prepare to carry our crosses and give our entire lives to Christ.
This month, I challenge you to learn more about the life of one of the martyrs and how he or she was prepared to pay any price to follow Christ. Second, I challenge you to participate in the Faith in Action Into the Breach program or read Into the Breach on your own with a particular eye toward how we can best prepare to carry our crosses.
What cross is Christ asking you to carry in your life? Are you willingly taking up the cross and seeking to follow Christ or trying to avoid the cross? In what concrete ways can you imitate the martyrs’ total commitment to Christ?