with friends like this, jesus doesn't need enemies
"Unfortunately, many go about in a way which shows them to be enemies of the cross of Christ." —Philippians 3:18
Our lifestyle shows the world whether we are friends or enemies of the crucified Jesus (Phil 3:18). We, His disciples, testify to our belief in His crucified love by the way we go about denying ourselves and carrying our own crosses (see Lk 9:23).
Your own life screams to the world that you are a friend or an enemy of the cross of Jesus. What is your life saying? What crosses would you run away from if Jesus offered them to you? (see Mk 14:50-51) Would you flee from the crosses of:
- having more children in obedience to God's will,
- speaking up in public for Jesus at the risk of ridicule,
- tithing ten percent of your income and giving alms,
- fasting another day a week to win spiritual victories,
- turning off or throwing out your TV,
- making a public stand for life,
- working for justice for the poor and oppressed,
- speaking out publicly for holiness and chastity, or
- being a caregiver for a dying or retarded person?
Jesus offers these and other crosses to us every day. When we decide to be a friend of His cross and pick it up each day, we paradoxically find our life (Lk 9:24) instead of losing it. "Enemies of the cross of Christ...will end in disaster!" (Phil 3:18, 19) Repent of refusing any cross. Die to the "things of this world" (Phil 3:19). Lift high your cross.
Prayer: Jesus, may I be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14). May I never leave the foot of Your cross — not even for a moment of relief. I find all my comfort in being by Your side (cf Ps 94:19).
Promise: "We have our citizenship in heaven." —Phil 3:20
Praise: In obedience to and by the grace of God, Maria fasts three times a week in order to bring down the strongholds of the enemy and build up the Kingdom of God (see Mt 17:21, NAB).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 30, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 1, 2004