Following Jesus is deciding not to make faith and public witness about us.
Mark 8: 34 – 9: 1
The common testimony of Christians is their personal experiences of Jesus. For many it remains that way, very personal to the end so that we often hear words like: ‘my Jesus’, ‘my faith’, ‘my Mass’, ‘my Saviour’, etc.. True, Christianity has some very personal aspects since discipleship begins with personal relationship with the Lord.
But, today’s gospel passage reminds us that our relationship with the Lord is not so personal that it must remain private. Disciples must share. Disciples must give public witness. Disciples must live for others. Disciples must not be afraid to announce their love for Jesus.
Thus Jesus says to all who decide to follow him that they must renounce themselves and take up their cross and follow him. Renouncing self means surrendering one’s faith and witness to God’s will and purpose. Taking up one’s cross means to live as Jesus did, freely sacrificing himself for others. Following Jesus is deciding not to make faith and public witness about us.