(Deut 4:32-40, Mt 16:24-28).

Good morning dear friends and happy New Day! May God’s name be praised and glorified in our lives both now and forevermore, Amen. Please DO NOT FORGET to say a short prayer once u get up from bed daily. You can then CHEW THE STICK (Reflection) and I tell you most solemnly, YOU WILL BE GOOD TO GO FOR THE DAY!

Jesus says to His disciples today: IF ANY WANTS TO BE MY FOLLOWER, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME (Mt 16:24). Once upon a time, a group of people were asked to carry crosses to THE LAND OF TREASURES, GOLD AND WHERE EVERY GOOD THING IN LIFE IS FOUND. Each person to a cross, lifted the long and heavy cross on their shoulders and began the journey. After few kilometres, one person complained of the weight of the cross and wanted to drop it and turn back. But others persuaded him and they moved on. After a while again, he stopped and repeated the same thing, and the 3rd time, he couldn’t hang on, he couldn’t persevere, he decided to drop the cross, took a sharp cutlass and cut the cross into two. It became short and very light for him. He was happy and was now in front, leading the others. However, they got to the gate that will usher them into the LAND OF OPPORTUNITIES, BUT THERE WAS A VERY WIDE AND DEEP DITCH THAT MUST BE CROSSED. There was no means of passage, except to drop your long cross and use it to form A BRIDGE, WALK ON IT AND THEN PICK IT UP AGAIN AND ENTER EVERLASTING ENJOYMENT. For those who had persevered, they made it. BUT THE ONE WHO HAD FOLLOWED SHORT-CUT BY CUTTING HIS CROSS, THAT WAS THE END OF THE ROAD FOR HIM BECAUSE HE COULDN’T EVEN BORROW SOMEBODY ELSE’S CROSS.

Brethren, does that not remind us of that dictum: NO CROSS, NO CROWN? It is only in the dictionary that SUCCESS COMES BEFORE WORK. BUT IN REALITY, WORK (perseverance) MUST COME BEFORE SUCCESS. Jesus also carried his own cross to Calvary, and today, his cross is carrying him.

DO YOU KNOW THAT THE CROSS YOU ARE CARRYING TODAY COULD BE YOUR SAVING GRACE TOMORROW? That cross could even be your husband, wife, children, boss, lecturer, landlord, your parish priest, parishioners, best friend; that difficult situation you are passing through now, etc! CAN YOU ENDURE THE HEAT NOW FOR FUTURE GLORY? There is always light at the end of the tunnel! Our pains today surely will bring our gains tomorrow. GOLD WILL NOT BE GOLD IF IT DOES NOT PASS THROUGH FIRE. ARE YOU PASSING THROUGH YOUR OWN FIRE NOW? DON’T WORRY OK, YOU ARE A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.

God bless you as you PERSEVERE TODAY AND ALWAYS.

About the Author: Rev. Fr. Francis Onugha is the Parish Priest of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Lasokun, Apata, Ibadan in Nigeria. He is an avid preacher who passes God’s messages across with practical examples we see in our daily lives. He writes his Daily Chewing Stick to spread God’s word electronically to all.

About VTI©

Valentina is a self motivated mother who has always committed herself to the service of humanity. In her quest to help in this wise, she has tales of personal experiences. Her challenges and successes which are always ongoing, and she'll be sharing with you without reserve. - Olusegun Idowu

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