July 13, 2020 – 15th Week of Ordinary Time

“Driving away all fears and embracing the Cross as our Christian Lifestyle!”

(Based on Isaiah 1:11-17 and Mt 10:34-11:1 – Monday of the 15th Week of Ordinary Time)

Every society or organization or a way of life draws up rules and regulations…
… to which its members have to promise obedience.

A faithful commitment to these guidelines will help for the true growth of the society and help the members to genuinely enjoy all the rights and privileges.

Christianity as a Life Style, also has its Rules and Regulations and it demands Commitment!

The Cross forms part of this Basic Rule of Christianity.

The ‘modern’ Christian however, is often afraid and oppose this dimension of Christianity: The Cross!

Bishop Fulton Sheen presents before us this mentality which is fast catching up in our world…

It is termed as Staurophobia… The Fear of the Cross!

The Gospel of the Day is a presentation of the Message of the Cross…
… an invitation to follow the Crucified Christ
… a challenge to faithfully carry the crosses of our life.

Jesus says, “He who does not take his cross and follow me, is not worthy of Me” (Mt 10: 38)

Our Blessed Lord loves to jolt static minds and the inert understandings..

He doesn’t promise cushy comforts…
… He demands Commitment to the Cross!

Those who choose Christianity as a Life Style, ought to be…

Losers of oneself
Be carriers of the Cross
And then Follow Him!

Christianity, as a Life Style, has the Cross as its Basic Rule and it demands Commitment!

But the very mention of the word “Cross”, sometimes puts people off…

“Not again the Cross”
“Enough of pain and suffering”
“We go to Church to relax and be comforted; not simply to hear of the Passion &Anguish of the Suffering Jesus on the Cross; we only prefer the Glorious & Victorious Christ”
“Stop being pessimistic with Sin & Repentance…. Just be optimistic with Joy & Salvation!”

These are often, the “happening” buzz phrases and popular opinions…even in our religious environs.

Staurophobia – the Fear of the Cross …is creeping stealthily but mightily in our lives…

We like to be Saved…
… but we Fear the Cross of repentance of our Sins

We like to receive Blessings…
… but we Fear the Cross of living an honest life

We like to live a peaceful life…
… but we Fear the Cross of trusting in God’s Providence

We like to be prosperous…
… but we Fear the Cross of being generous and compassionate

We like to be called good…
… but we Fear the Cross of being Faithful to the teachings of Christ

We like to have joy…
… but we Fear the Cross of giving up attachments & belong totally to God

Yes, We often, Fear the Cross…

But Christ – Crucified on the Cross – promises His Choicest Rewards to the ones, who dare to take up the Cross…

They will find Life…
They will be rewarded…
They will find true joy and peace…
…says the Lord.

Prophet Isaiah strongly warns and reminds all of us:
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts;
… Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them.
… When you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow!” (Is 1: 11, 13, 15-17)

Have we really accepted Christianity as our Life Style?

Then Let us Embrace the Cross…
Let us drive away the Fear of the Cross

Let Staurophobia (Fear of the Cross) be wilfully banished

Let Staurophilia (Love of the Cross) be willingly accepted!

St Camillus says, “Commitment is doing what you said you would do, after the feeling you said it in, has passed”.

Let us remain committed to the Cross of Christ and celebrate Christianity with conviction!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Think well on it, faithful soul: it is certain that on the Tree of the Cross, the Heart of our Lord Jesus beheld yours, and that He loved it…

… and by His love, obtained for it, all the favors which you have ever received, or will ever receive: among them, your good resolutions!”

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