Thursday after Ash Wednesday
It's not the parts of Scripture that I don't understand that give me trouble, it's the ones that I do understand that are so difficult. "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." There's no twisting that verse no matter how hard I might try and I'm old enough to know what it means.
It means that when I have plans to watch a movie with my wife on the couch and one of the boys vomits spaghetti all over himself and his bed, I must deny myself. It means that when I really want to be alone to read and my oldest wants to work on a Cub Scout project, I must deny myself. It means that when I have an idea for a project at work and my boss isn't even open to listening to it, I must deny myself.
It is those little, irritating, daily events that become my "cross daily". He is a liar who claims to be willing to sacrifice his very life on the cross before the crowds as Christ did, but who refuses to endure and suffer the daily pinpricks of life.
Jesus was like us in all things except sin. He too endured and suffered those daily pinpricks of life. He too suffered from cuts, bruises, aches, pains, splinters, stings, disappointment, and sadness. He carried His cross everyday, not only on good Friday. Do we read about it in Scripture? No, and why not? His silence too is an example, an example of taking up the cross daily. He didn't moan and complain while carrying His cross, nor should we. Rather, we should embrace those daily crosses and in the midst of the pain and suffering, bless others, just as He did. I only pray for the grace to do just that.