By Deanna Bartalini
“Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me,
cannot be my disciple.” ~ Luke 14:27
Both the first reading and today’s Gospel tell us what is asked of Jesus’ disciples. A disciple is not one who merely follows Jesus but who takes on the responsibility of sharing Jesus with others. Disciples are all in, living lives of faith and evangelizing.
Becoming a Disciple
How do we become a disciple? Follow the commandments, as St. Paul reminds us. Above all, we need to remember that “love is the fulfillment of the law.” Jesus puts a fine point on how much love we need. He wants us to love so much and so well that we are willing to sacrifice, to struggle, to surrender. Surrendering to Jesus is a sweet surrender. It is not giving up but giving in to One who loves us more than anyone else.
It may seem Jesus wants us to have nothing of the world in this passage. I think He is reminding us not to hold onto the things of this world too tightly. Jesus has been helping me with this recently. I like to plan. And I can be a bit rigid or easily upset when I must change things around. In caring for our family, plans are constantly changed and, in some cases, canceled altogether. This is the season my husband and I are in now. I surrender the need to be in control and give myself, out of love, to another who needs me.
Picking up My Cross
What I find amazing is this: when I pick up my cross, knowing it is mine and Jesus wants me to have it, the things of the world that I held tightly work themselves out without my interference.
This reflection is an example of surrender. I was not scheduled to write it. And I resisted a bit. But when I gave myself over to Jesus, it came together as a way to tell you about something special.
This week, on Friday, Nov 10, 2023, we are starting the Surrender Novena. Please pray with us on Facebook or Instagram each day until Nov 19, which is the anniversary of Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo’s passing from this life to the next. Fr. Dolindo is the priest who gave us this novena.
O Jesus, I surrender myself to you; take care of everything.
Call to Action
Pray the Surrender Novena with us from November 10 to 19, 2023. Before we begin, make a list, with the help of the Holy Spirit, of that you want to surrender.
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