Like Peter we sometimes ask why the cross is necessary. Why did he allow his Son to experience the rejection and pain of the Cross? This was Peter’s question. He didn’t want Jesus to experience suffering. And sometimes we don’t want to experience it ourselves. Today our Lord asks us to accept the Cross; he says that new life for us will come from it. We also know that the Cross is God’s highest expression of his love for us. We can begin to understand this through an image of mother or father with their 1 year old.
Why aren’t there more Christians, more Catholics, in the world? Is it because our faith is false, is it because our faith isn’t rational, is it because God only calls a portion of us to come to belief? No, God calls all to know and believe in him. Also, he isn’t mean, he doesn’t ask us to abandon our rationality, our intellects. Jesus spends time explaining to his disciples the will of God. Yes, God’s Word enlightens the human mind, but it also elevates human love. Through faith we see how it is good to suffer for the sake of another. God teaches us to see things how he sees them, God asks us to do things which he has already done. This higher form of love includes carrying our cross; but this we do not like. We are tempted to reject our cross, and therefore Jesus, never embracing the higher love to which he calls us, divine love.