Have you ever tried to read the Bible, all by yourself? Sometimes, in the Bible, we hear some things that don’t
make sense. Maybe we don’t understand something. In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells us, “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” What does that mean—to deny yourself? Well, when you deny yourself something, you keep yourself from having it. Maybe you want an ice cream sundae, but it’s Lent, and you know you should keep the fast. Maybe you got some money for your birthday, and you want to spend it for yourself, but you know you should remember to help the poor. Maybe you want to say something mean to somebody, but you know you shouldn’t, so you keep quiet. All these things are denying yourself. You are keeping yourself from doing them.
Whenever we deny ourselves to really help another person, we are doing what our Lord tells us today. And if we really wish to come after Jesus, we have to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him! Can you think
of some things you can do to deny yourself? Let’s follow Christ!
XANTHIPPE AND POLYXENIA: SISTER SAINTS IN SPAIN
Have you ever heard somebody say, “brothers and sisters in Christ”? What does that mean? Another Christian might not be your brother or your sister you live with, but you might call him or her your “brother in Christ” or “sister in Christ.” That’s because we are all part of one Christian family! This week, we celebrate two saints who were sisters in Christ and also sisters in their family. Saint Xanthippe and Saint Polyxenia lived in Spain, just
a few years after our Lord Jesus Christ lived on earth! They had the great blessing of hearing the good news of Christ from Saint Paul himself.
We know that it wasn’t a very easy thing to be a Christian during Saint Paul’s time. The emperors persecuted many Christians because they would not worship the false idols. But Xanthippe and Polyxenia were not killed as martyrs. They lived and told people about the Lord during their lives, and died when they were old.
We celebrate these saints on Thursday, Sept. 23th (OC: Oct. 6th).