Mk 8: 27-35

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Living out my baptismal promises

For the first thirty years of his life, St. Ignatius was motivated by worldly desires: romance, wealth, honors. But after a battle injury and during his convalescence, he was haunted by the thought: what did all those things matter if he lost eternal life? Thus, he embarked on a new life, seeking to love God and neighbor, choosing poverty in union with Christ who was poor, and seeking the greater honor and glory of God. He took up the cross with which he was signed when he was baptized. Taking up my cross means being faithful to my baptismal promises, living as a beloved child of God and loving God’s other children, my brothers and sisters.

Every Easter I promise to take up the cross of my baptism, renouncing sin and committing myself to live in the freedom of the children of God.  How will I do that today?

—Fr. Jim Kubicki, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Province and director of St. Francis Mission on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.

Prayer

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you freed me from sin, gave me a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and joined me to your people. You anointed me with the Chrism of salvation, so that I may remain a member of Christ, Priest, Prophet and King, unto eternal life. Help me to be faithful to my holy anointing. Amen.

—Adapted from the Anointing Prayer in the Rite of Baptism