“In reply Jesus said, ‘You do not know what you are asking.’ ” –Matthew 20:22

As we enter into Lent, Jesus is trying to take us with Him to the cross. He speaks of being betrayed, condemned, scourged, crucified, and risen (Mt 20:18-19). However, like James and John, many of us aren’t that interested in the cross. In fact, we’re not that interested in Lent, fasting, penance, repentance, or Confession. We have more important things on our minds; that is, ourselves.

We’re more concerned about what we want (see Mt 20:21) than about what the Lord wants. We’d like to be promoted, to sit at Jesus’ right or left hand (Mt 20:21). We’d like to go to Jesus’ throne and bypass the cross.

Yet Jesus doesn’t cooperate with us. He insists we get our minds off of ourselves and back on the cross. He speaks of the cup of suffering (Mt 20:22) and of laying down our lives in service to each other (Mt 20:28). He determines to speak of nothing but of Himself crucified (see 1 Cor 2:2).

If we’re going to communicate with Jesus, if we’re going to pray, we’ll have to stop focusing on ourselves and let Jesus be Lord of our conversation. Jesus refuses to drop the subject of the cross. So we must drop the subject of ourselves, if we expect to communicate with Him. Drop your subject.

PRAYER: Father, may I boast of nothing but the cross (Gal 6:14).

PROMISE: “Into Your hands I commend my spirit; You will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God.” –Ps 31:6

PRAISE: Rather than growing bitter over the loss of her husband and children, Theresa began volunteering for her Church family.

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