Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Thursday 7 March 2019
Gospel: Luke 9:22-25
Yesterday we entered into the season of Lent. Up until now the daily Liturgy followed the Gospel of Mark, step by step. 
Beginning yesterday until Easter, the sequence of the readings of the day will be dictated by the ancient tradition of Lent and of preparation for Easter. From the very first day, the perspective is that of the Passion, Death and Resurrection and of the meaning which this mystery has for our life. 
This is what is proposed in the rather brief text of today’s Gospel. The text speaks of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and affirms that the following of Jesus presupposes that we carry our cross after Jesus.
The first announcement of the Passion. Jesus begins to teach that He is the Messiah, the Servant announced by Isaiah, soon He will be put to death in the carrying out of His mission of justice
Jesus draws conclusions: “If anyone wants to follow Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross every day and follow Me.” At that time the cross was the death penalty which the Roman Empire gave to marginalized criminals. To take up the cross and to carry it following Jesus was the same as accepting to be marginalized by the unjust system which legitimized injustices. It was the same as to break away from the system. 
As St. Paul says in the letter to the Galatians, “The world has been crucified for Me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). The cross is not fatalism, neither is it an exigency from the Father. The Cross is the consequence of the commitment freely assumed by Jesus to reveal the Good News that God is Father. Because of this announcement, He was persecuted and He was not afraid to deliver His own life.