Day 26 (Mar 26)
– Pruning and Cutting Away

Day 26 (Mar 26)
Pruning and Cutting Away

Will you take up your cross and follow me?

“We ascend to God by accompanying him on this descending path.”

- Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth I

As we continue to reflect on the seed sown on rich soil, let’s examine our hearts critically to see if we are the true disciple of Christ, “who hears the word and understands it” (Matthew 13:23)

In the Beatitudes, the disciples of Jesus are poor, hungry, and weeping; they are hated and persecuted (cf. Luke 6:20ff). For the world, these are undesirable attributes. And yet they are the reason why the disciples are blessed!

The Beatitudes are paradoxes. They reveal what God’s standards are. They are the opposite of the world’s standards. They show us the right perspective – God's perspective.

The Beatitudes express the meaning of Christian discipleship. (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth I)

It's a discipleship that demands humility and suffering, just as our Lord has “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death” (Philippians 2:8). “Indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” St. Paul teaches (2 Timothy 3:12 RSVCE).

Unfortunately some Christians are quick to complain about the hardships of life. They lose heart quickly and stop praying; some even give up their faith altogether.

[H]e prunes so that it bears more fruit (John 15:2).

God is our loving Gardener. Hardships and sufferings are mysteriously His way to help us grow better and bear more fruit. We must persevere and remain faithful to Him.

In this Lent, at a time when the whole world is threatened by the coronavirus pandemic, it's fitting for us to remember the Beatitudes. Remember Jesus' invitation to accompany Him on His descending path of humility and suffering, so that we are worthy of following Him on His ascending path to God.


When it’s God's will that I take up my cross and follow Jesus (see Matthew 16:24), do I have the courage and love to obey and see it as God's pruning? Can I honestly say I am a faithful disciple of Christ?


Heavenly Father, grant me the determination to walk with Christ, not only when things are going well, but also when hardships are all around. Help me accept your pruning so that I will grow better and bear more fruit.

As my response to your invitation to bear my share of hardship along with Christ, I will contemplate the Way of the Cross to connect myself to the suffering Christ while offering my own suffering and my own crosses to Him.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.