Saint Angela invited her daughters to place themselves at the foot of the cross. As we prepare to celebrate the season of Lent, I ponder her words.

Jesus did the unthinkable! He wedded authority with selfless service and with loving sacrifice. Authority without sacrificial love is brutish and self-serving. Jesus also used stark language to explain what kind of sacrifice he had in mind. It was a bitter one involving crucifixion. What kind of sacrifice does the Lord have in mind for us?

For some such a sacrifice entails physical suffering and the painful struggle of martyrdom. But for many, it entails the long routine of the Christian life, with all its daily sacrifices, disappointments, set-backs, struggles, and temptations. We strive to be ready to lay down our life each and every day in the little and big sacrifices required.

An early church father summed up Jesus’ teaching with the expression: to serve is to reign with Christ. We share in God’s reign by laying down our lives in humble service as Jesus did for our sake. Are you willing to lay down your life and to serve others as Jesus did? Are you ready to place yourself at the feet of Christ crucified?

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