We gather to praise God and to ask for help and grace. We know the difficulties that can come when we try to live the right way. Often the road of life is like the way of the cross.
We might overly focus on the “renunciation” in today’s Gospel so as to miss its positive aspect. All growth, all lasting achievement demands effort and sacrifice. Yet the sacrifice can be a satisfying part of experience, when orientated towards a high and valued goal. (Examples: athletic training; mountain-climbing; studying a language; practising any skill.) So, the self discipline involved in Christian life, and accepting the circumstances in which God places us, contribute to our personal destiny. And we look forward in hope to the great reward of loyal service — when the Son of man, coming in glory, will reward all according to their behaviour.