The Christian Soul accepts the Cross,
Painted by French Anonymous Painter,
Painted circa 1630,
Oil on canvas
© Prado Museum, Madrid
‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him take up his cross every day
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’
Then to all he said:
‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?’
Reflection on the Painting
In today’s Gospel reading Jesus says, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me’. So I simply want to share the following story with you:
A young man was overwhelmed by the problems of life. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear.”
The Lord pointed to a door in a room and replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then open that other door and pick out any cross you wish.”
The young man was filled with relief. "Thank you Lord," he sighed, and he did what he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many other crosses, as depicted in our painting, some so large the tops weren't even visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning against the far wall. "I'd like that one Lord," he whispered.
And the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."
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