Thursday, February 23 | Luke 9:18-25

Eduardo Viera-Neto

Take up your cross daily and follow Jesus! Do not be afraid of your daily struggles, sufferings, and strains – Jesus is with you, trust him. Suffering is natural to human beings. Jesus was aware of all the sufferings that he would have to go through – be condemned by the religious and civil authorities of his time to die on a cross. His human nature anticipated all the suffering of death on a cross – a cruel form of torture deserved by the worst criminals. However, he also knew that on the third day he would raise up alive.

Taking up our cross daily is a necessary suffering, so to speak. If you avoid this necessary suffering, you will suffer hundreds of times more – “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Reality is sometimes tough, nonetheless God speaks through reality. Moreover “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), consequently God through Jesus is in a constant dialogue with us, a face-to-face-dialogue. Again, fear not your cross, because there is always this Eternal Intercessor between you and the Father, Jesus.

Be aware that our own sin may bring suffering. Additionally, sin can be linked to unawareness, ignorance: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34). In contrast this calling from Jesus to take up our cross daily and follow him is the utmost consciousness!

Eduardo Viera-Neto arrived in Pittsburgh in 2020 with his husband, Antonio, coming from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a city eternally warm and green. Here, he learned to enjoy the succession of seasons and colors – the brown and white of winter, then the rainbow spectra of spring blooming, the green of summer, and finally the yellow and red of fall.