Here is today’s Gospel, from St Matthew: ‘Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”’

St John Chrysostom commented: ‘Though he seem to have spoken but one single thing, yet His sayings are three, Let him renounce himself, and Let him bear his cross, and Let him follow me; and two of them are joined together, but the one is put by itself. … He said not, Let him not spare himself, but very strictly, Let him renounce himself; that is, let him have nothing to do with himself, but give himself up to all dangers and conflicts; and let him so feel, as though another were suffering it all. … And let him take up his cross. This arises out of the other. For to hinder your supposing that words, and insults, and reproaches are to be the limits of our self-renunciation … And let him follow me. … And what is it? In order that, so doing and suffering, you may follow Him; that for Him you may undergo all things … Then, because the saying seemed to be vehement, see how He softens it by what follows, and sets down rewards surpassing our toils …  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, says He, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.

All of us find our crosses in life ready-made, we do not have to look for them. Like Jesus, may we embrace what cannot be changed, and so know the new life of Lord Jesus Christ. May He bless us all this day.