Being in the seminary, one learns how the cross is so central to discipleship. Following Christ always take the cruci-from shape. There is not other way to follow Christ than imitating what Christ has done.
The Son was like us in all things accept sin. He was treated harshly and took the place of a criminal on the cross. The Son simply spoke the truth of his Father. Yet, the Letter of the Hebrews speaks of how the Son emptied himself for our sake, becoming one like us in our suffering. He doesn’t empty himself on the cross out of pure passivity. Rather, he is total control and chooses to give his absolute YES to the Father’s will which ultimately leads to the Father raising him up from the dead.
We must model our lives after the Son. Constantly, giving ourselves over to the Father’s will. Molding our will after the heart of the Father. The first Filipino saint reminds me of such a pursuit.
San Lorenzo Ruiz, the saint whom we honor this week, gave his YES which led to his martyrdom that planted the seed of faith for the people in Japan. We may never become blood martyrs, but we are called to witness our faith. We are called to be Christians and not be concerned about popularity or fame because the cross is not about popularity or fame. And if the cross is the centrality of Christian discipleship than we must imitate it less it remains simply decoration around our neck.