In one of my classes this week, we asked the students whether they thought everything in life was somehow pre-determined, or if they would attest this statement. It lead to quite the discussion, based on their thoughts about a 'greater-power' (God) and if there is a reason for the bad things that happen in our world. It's fascinating how various beliefs of the world can influence us, especially the younger generation. If we are lead in the wrong direction, we can fall off track and lose our way spiritually. When it comes to pre-determined living, as Catholics we believe that God created each of us unique, special with a purpose. We are meant to seek His will in our lives, and through the gracious gift of free will, every path looks different. We each have trials and burdens to carry as we journey through our lives, and that's OK. It makes us stronger, and God is helping us through the journey. No, I don't believe in pre-determined fate, but I believe God is using each of us in very different and special ways to show His love to the world. Rise to the challenge!
Today's Gospel states:'And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels' (Luke 9:23-26).
Today's reading talks about how we need to be concentrating on carrying our crosses, not letting the burdens of life weigh us down. If we concentrate solely on the hurt, we'll miss all of the joy and opportunities to love. How are you rising to be a disciple in your life? Has it been a while since you prayed and asked God to help you discern His will for your life? Take some time today to pray and ask God to help you rise up and face your life with courage and hope.
Today we pray:
Thank You for this life and for making me unique in Your image and likeness. Guide me closer to You with everything I face in my life.
I pray in Your most holy name, Amen.