In a moving scene from “The River,” Jean Renoir’s beautiful film of India, a crippled American soldier is outraged over the cross he has been given to bear. In his anguish, he asks a Hindu woman if there is anything he can do to make life worthwhile. She replies in a single word: “Consent!” In other words, “Be!”
That is what Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel Lesson: “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple … whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Lk. 14:27,33). If you want to be the uniquely beautiful person God made you to be, then renounce your ego-centered, cold, fear-driven, achievement-oriented, undistinguished self and follow Me, Jesus is telling us. If you want to make your life worthwhile, take up your cross and follow me, Jesus is telling us.
When we turn our attention to the Gospel of Luke, we can understand…
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