“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

To Follow Jesus is to Follow the Cross

Matthew 16:21-27

In last week’s Gospel, Jesus calls Simon Peter the “rock” upon which his Church would be built on. But in today’s reading, we see the limitations of Peter’s faith.

Jesus confides in his disciples that at the end of his ministry, he must suffer, die, and rise again for the good of his people. Alarmed and frightened, Peter speaks out in rejection of Jesus’ words: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

Jesus reprimands Peter and says that to reject such an outcome is to no longer think like God but like man. It’s here that Jesus teaches the disciples two lessons. The first clarifies their understanding of Jesus as the Messiah. Rather than the political leader they likely envisioned, Jesus is the suffering servant.

The second lesson teaches about the difficult path to discipleship. Just as Jesus makes sacrifices to serve, his disciples are expected to do the same. As an organization built on serving others, we recognize both the beauty and challenges that come with such a mission.

Bruce Wilkinson with Small Girl and Mother in Haiti

Bruce Wilkinson, who has served as President and CEO of CMMB for nearly a decade, knows this better than most. After building a career in serving others, Bruce is set to retire this September. He recently sat down with a group of summer interns to reflect on his experience. Today we pass on the advice he shared with our interns, as there’s a lesson in his words for all. You can learn more about Bruce and his experience on our blog.

My encouragement for you all is to be lifelong learners. It builds your character when you are faced with a new environment and new challenges. Also, I recognize the necessity of learning soft skills, which includes shaping ideas from perspectives that are not necessarily your own. It ties back to your values.

“Your values will drive the person you become and allow you to form the career you want to pursue.”

It’s also important to ask questions. Ask people who they are and what their values are. Cross culturally, it is difficult sometimes. But I think there are some commonalities that transcend culture. You want to make your values evident within your career. Most importantly, you have to ask yourself: Who am I at my core?

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

In grace and peace,

Bruce Wilkinson signature

Bruce Wilkinson

President & CEO, CMMB

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