One Minute Reflection – 21 February – Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: James 2:14-24, 26, Psalm 112:1-6, Mark 8:34–9:1 and the Memorial of Blessed Noel Pinot (1747-1794) Priest and Martyr
“He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” … Mark 8:34
REFLECTION – “What does this mean, “take up a cross”? It means he will bear with whatever is troublesome and in this very act he will be following me.
When he has begun to follow me, according to My teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many who not only deride but even persecute him.
Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the church but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.
Although these glory, in merely the title of Christian, they continually persecute faithful Christians.
Such belong to the members of the church in the same way, that bad blood is in the body.
Therefore, if you wish to follow Christ, do not delay in carrying His cross, tolerate sinners but do not yield to them.
Do not let the false happiness of the wicked corrupt you.
You do well to despise all things for the sake of Christ, in order that you may be fit for his companionship.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) – (Sermons, 159)
PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of Your only Son, our Saviour and to take up our cross in His footsteps. Teach us and guide us, to deny ourselves for His sake. As the zealous, faithful and courageous shepherd Blessed Noel Pinot, died for love of Christ and His Church, may we and all our Priests, profit by his intercession and be strengthened in the face of all persecution. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen