Jesus’ invitation to “take up (your) cross” is an invitation not to be too far removed from suffering or pain — because those places of hardship are where Jesus is already at work. A life of following Jesus will consist of both joy and hardship. Jesus was very clear that following him might not be a smooth ride. He was bound to choose the just way, not the easy way, through life. When we follow the Jesus way we are called to justice, mercy and love above all else, and that is not the way of the world, but it is the way of abundant life for all.
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