If we preach resurrection without the cross, we are acting like Peter in the Gospel.
Peter had just proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah, but he failed to understand that Jesus’ mission was not to bring wealth and glory to Israel. Like Satan’s temptations in the desert, he wanted Jesus to take the easy way to glory.
Instead, Jesus challenges us to deny ourselves. As long as we center our lives on our own pleasure and comfort, we are rejecting the cross. To deny oneself means to choose God’s will over our own. It means to be willing to suffer for being honest. It means giving God the first place in our lives. It means we get more joy from serving others than from serving ourselves.
That is one reason I like the image of God as Father. Parents will lose much of their freedom—and much sleep—when they bring a child into the world. But they find a new joy in the eyes of that child. We are all called to lose our selfish lives and find the joy of living for Jesus.
Tom Schmidt – Diocesan Publication