Luke 22: 23
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
If we want to go on a day out (as we could before lockdown) we might think of a number of things that would contribute to a memorable occasion. A beauty spot perhaps or a picturesque journey through the countryside. We might also think about what we should take… a picnic perhaps or should we rely on finding a cafe or restaurant?
Today's gospel follows the feeding of the five thousand and the discussion that followed when Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was. It was Peter who said "The Messiah of God". He then told them, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."
In that statement there is a picture of a journey, and in the preceding passage a reflection on what we need for nourishment. The bread that Jesus provided was not only physical for the five thousand but more importantly spiritual. He now invites his disciples on a journey. When we plan a journey we might use a Satnav but if we don't download our map when we start, we might find that when we are on that journey, our connection to the Internet is lost and we are stuck.
Jesus invites us on a journey, but we don't need a Satnav or a pre prepared picnic. We do however need to put aside possessions and focus on him through prayer. Unlike the Internet our connection with our Lord will not be lost if we deny ourselves, commit ourselves to him and stay in communion with him in prayer. It will not only be on our journey through Lent but for the rest of our lives that we need to find time to be with Jesus in prayer and to seek his direction. If we commit our lives to Him we shall enjoy His presence and be nourished, not just daily but for our lifetime and for life everlasting.
Heavenly Father we thank you that you sent your Son our Lord Jesus Christ to not only show us the way, but to nourish us and be with us on our journey day by day. Amen