Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B
"He must follow me"
When the Lord tells us in the gospel that anyone who wants to be his follower must renounce himself, the injunction seems harsh; we think he is imposing a burden on us. But an order is no burden when it is given by one who helps in carrying it out.
To what place are we to follow Christ if not where he has already gone? We know that he has risen and ascended into heaven: there, then, we must follow him. There is no cause for despair — by ourselves we can do nothing but we have Christ's promise. Heaven was beyond our reach before our Head ascended there (Col 1,18), but now, if we are his members, why should we despair of arriving there ourselves? Is there any reason? True, many fears and afflictions confront us in this world; but if we follow Christ, we shall reach a place of perfect happiness, perfect peace, and everlasting freedom from fear.
Yet let me warn anyone bent on following Christ to listen to Saint John the Apostle: “One who claims to abide in Christ ought to walk as he walked” (1Jn 2,6). Would you follow Christ? Then be humble as he was humble; do not scorn his lowliness if you want to reach his exaltation.
Saint Caesarius of Arles (470-543), Monk and Bishop