Today's Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38 - St. Clare

I have always been drawn to this Gospel. It seems to me that, within these verses, Christ reveals the secret to holiness, and, therefore, the secret to happiness. But I have a problem…

I have a driving desire to organize and plan everything to ensure maximum results. Although I’m quite comfortable with this tendency most of the time, it has always posed a problem in terms of my spiritual life. The planner in me finds it very difficult to surrender my life and my plans to the Lord because (despite recognizing the error of this thought) I tend to think my plans are best. I fully believe that, if I could heed Christ’s words and “lose my life for His sake,” I would finally be free to serve Christ with my whole heart, my whole mind, and with all my strength. Instead, I continually wrestle with the Will of God, trying to force my plans, while repeatedly being taught that God’s plans are best.

In Luke’s version of this same story, I am told that I must pick up my cross daily. (Lk 9:23) Picking up my cross wasn’t a one time effort when I chose to live my life for Christ. It wasn’t a one time effort when I followed my vocation. It isn’t even an occasional effort that must be made in times of suffering. Picking up my cross is something I must do every day - even multiple times a day - to ensure I am living my life in accord with God’s holy Will. It is only by denying myself and my plans that I will find God’s plan for my day. The incredible twist is: when I set aside my plans for God’s plans, I don’t lose my life, I find it.

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Am I willing to set aside my plans or desires to serve God?


Dear Jesus, help me to conform my life to Yours, today and always. Help me to pick up my cross and follow You, regardless of what it may cost me. Give me the grace to surrender my will to the Will of our Father. Amen.


Copyright 2017 Mary Swafford

Mary Swafford is a homeschooling mama to six kiddos. She has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Memphis and a Master of Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. Mary is a former youth minister and has been a catechist for fifteen years. Her passion is helping people encounter Christ through His holy Church.

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