Every human person here on earth, desires to be great, well known, popular, famous and be recognized by all for some kind of achievement. But it is said without pain there is no gain. It is true my dear brothers and sisters. Before we stand on a victory stand we have to fight, struggle, work hard and face all challenges in life. As St. Paul writes to Timothy saying “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith, from now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me, on that day and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Many people want to achieve the crown, here on earth. But St. Paul is more concerned about receiving crown at the end of our life. And that crown is only through the cross my dear brothers and sisters. We read in Philippians Jesus was glorified with that crown. “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God, as something to be exploited but emptied himself taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness and being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name, that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:6-11)
Yes! Jesus is crowned with glory but this crown he received only through the cross. So, everyone who wants a crown, must be ready to carry the cross. In the recent Olympic events, we have witnessed, how every participant struggled and fought and not everyone received a crown, only those who really worked hard, and with a rigorous practice, could achieve the crown of victory.
In the same manner, in order to receive crown of glory we all need to carry our cross cheerfully and unless we die we do not live, unless we are buried, we cannot rise, and therefore Jesus says “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me, For those who want to save their life will lose it and those who lose their life for my sake will find it” (Mathew. 16:24-25). Hence, let us not grumble at our cross, but faithfully carry it, and prepare ourselves, to receive the crown of glory in Heaven. Amen.