This particular picture from the most recent World Youth Day in Rio strikes me for in it we see a sweeping representation of many different generations focused on one task: carry the cross. In the mix of these many different ages we see a variety of expressions: some are concentrated and in prayer, some singing songs and smiling in joy, the curious child who seems to only want to touch the famous WYD cross.
This photo points to the message of today’s gospel: give up your possessions and be a disciple of Jesus Christ. There is a great commitment in following Christ, a determination, and a love that is required when we learn from the Master. If we hold on to other things in life such as wealth, future plans, security, we will loose sight of discipleship and in the end we will not be able to really follow Jesus who offers us life in abundance.
In the Gospel, taking up our cross is the program of being Christian. It is the foundation on which God builds up our life. Today, re-evaluate! Is the cross being worn on our shoulders to imitate Jesus or does it simply remain on the mirror of our cars or around our necks for fashion and decoration? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew our commitment in following Christ.