Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF, NOVICE MASTER

The words of Jesus are crystal clear. He doesn’t hide the truth in his teaching the demands of the discipleship and the mission one is called to do. Jesus clearly makes his disciple aware of what it means to accept his discipleship. He wants to encourage them not to lose heart when they face unexpected and grave difficulties in proclaiming the Good News to the brothers and sisters of their time. Carrying the cross by the disciples is given new outlook. In those days, the cross was the death sentence imposed by the Roman Empire for thieves and the marginalized.

To take up one’s cross and follow Jesus was equivalent to agreeing to be marginalized by the unjust system of the Empire. On the other hand, Jesus’ cross is the consequence of the free commitment taken on to reveal the Good News that God is Father and that, therefore, all are to be accepted and treated as brothers and sisters. Because of this revolutionary proclamation, Jesus was persecuted and was not afraid to give up His life. Greater love than this no man has, that he lay down his life for his friends. St. Paul had a similar experience. For instance, for him to be faithful to Jesus and obtain life, he had to lose everything he had: career, the respect of his people, and suffer persecution. The same happened to many Christians. Christians were persecuted for being Christian. Paul says, “I am crucified with Christ”. “I wish to experience His cross and his death, so that I may also experience His resurrection.” “I am crucified to the world and the world to me”. This is the paradox of the Gospel: The last is first, the one who loses wins, the one who gives all keeps all, the one who dies lives. The one who has the courage to lose life obtains it.


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