Feast of St.Clare
Deuteronomy 4: 32-40
Matthew 16: 24-28
Our first reading has Moses urging his hearers to review their history so that they could trace the hand or the providence of God through their story as a people. Moses sees this as a way of helping them to recognise their need to follow God’s ways now in the present moment. God has cared for them in the past and brought them to freedom. Now they have to live into that freedom in a way that respects God’s law.
We are invited too to reflect on how God has been with us throughout our lives in all the twists and turns, in the challenges as well as in the moments of joy.
The key lies in responding to the Gospel invitation today: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him/her renounce self, take up the cross and follow me.’ This is not a cross of our own making but the cross which becomes ours when we stand for truth, for justice, and for equality as Jesus did. This is a cross that Jesus embraced as he went about doing good, when he spoke words of healing on the Sabbath, when he allowed himself to be touched by a woman desperate for healing, when he challenged the money changers, and so much more.
Let’s not limit our understanding of the cross to the wood that Jesus shouldered on the way to Calvary. He could only shoulder that cross because he had always embraced the cross in his way of living in unity with the God who loved lavishly and unconditionally and because he shared that unconditional love in his way of living.
Taking up the cross in our lives invites us to embrace life and live from the heart, a heart full of compassion and love that will have its own cost for each of us as we face the challenges that life gives us.
St Clare embraced the cross in her life, too, as she, inspired by St Francis, took on a life of poverty and prayer against her family’s opposition.
Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,