In today’s Gospel from the Mass (Luke 9:22-25), Jesus gives us the Good News and the bad news:

[22]  [Jesus said to His disciples], “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” [23]  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.  [24] For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.  [25] For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? “

Jesus offers a stark assessment of what it means to be a disciple:

  • First the bad news:  Jesus will be killed.  If you wish to follow Christ, you must pick up your cross and follow Him.
  • We must empathize with the poor disciples; this is very, very bad news indeed, for every Jew in the 1st century knew about the very bad news of Roman crucifixion.
  • But there is the very Good News:  On the third day, Jesus is raised.  Each man can also be saved if they embrace the sacrifice of Christ.

There is no easy way and Christ urges us to not take the easy way.  Our lives depend on it.