Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
Now the Savior, out of His great mercy and loving kindness, will have no one serve Him unwillingly and from constraint, but those only who come of their own accord, and are grateful for being allowed to serve Him. And so not by compelling men and putting a yoke upon them, but by persuasion and kindness, He draws to Him every where those who are willing, saying, "If any man will".
Since then the holy Church has one time of persecution, another time of peace, our Lord has noticed both times in His command to us. For at the time of persecution we must lay down our soul, that is our life, which He signified, saying, "Whosoever shall lose his life." But in time of peace, those things which have the greatest power to subdue us, our earthly desires, must be vanquished; which He signified, saying, "What does it profit a man, etc."
Now we commonly despise all fleeting things, but still we are so held back by that feeling of shame so common to man, that we are yet unable to express in words the uprightness which we preserve in our hearts. But to this wound the Lord indeed subjoins a suitable application, saying, "For whoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed."
Now he strikes fear into their hearts, when He says that He will descend from heaven, not in His former humility and condition proportioned to our capacities for receiving Him, but in the glory of the Father, with the Angels ministering to Him. It will then be awful and fatal, to be branded as a coward and slothful, when so great a Judge shall descend with the armies of Angels standing round Him. But from this you may perceive, that though He has taken to Himself our flesh and blood, the Son is no less God, seeing that He promises to come in the glory of God the Father, and that Angels shall minister to Him as the Judge of all, Who was made man like us.
In Canada, today (September 26) we celebrate the feast of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Isaac Jogues. They are French Jesuit missionaries who came to North America in the 17th century. They died as martyrs. Fountain of Love and Life had produced a program for "The Martyrs Shrine". Let's re-watch this program in remembrance of these courageous martyrs: https://fll.cc/index.php/tv/id=309
Catena Aurea (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Homily 55 on Matthew (St. John Chrysostom)
Homily 32 on the Gospels (St. Gregory the Great)
Sermon 50 on the Gospel of Luke (St. Cyril of Alexandria)