Jas 2: 14-24. 26 Faith is all about action. Justice is all about doing something to put right the wrongs we discover in our own lives and in the world around us. True righteousness is not about seeing our selves with a monopoly of the understanding of good and right, but about living the truth as we know it and seeking to influence those around us with our commitment to it. Judgmentalism will never serve the Kingdom of God. It will simply turn people off to our message.

Jesus, help me to live the truth of the Gospel in love. Help me to seek to influence others through the example of my life first, rather than through the use of the power of argument.

Mk 8: 34 – 9: 1 Jesus is getting down to business now! He is making it clear that to be his disciple is not going to be an easy thing. It will mean embracing many difficult and trying decisions. It will mean taking up our cross and following him. The disciples could not fully understand what this meant as they had no idea that Jesus was going to die, let alone die on a cross. However, I am sure they would be able to understand that what Jesus was saying to them constituted a warning that to follow him would involve trial and suffering of one kind or another.

Jesus, you were never backward about coming forward. You make it clear to us through the example of your life that a disciple of yours must be willing to embrace suffering. Help me to accept it with faith when I encounter it in my life.