Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent. 

“Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

With the stark orange and black images of Coptic men lined up to be slaughtered by their ISIS killers filling the Internet, these words seem particularly poignant.  We hear about taking up our “daily cross” in homilies and spiritual readings all the time. We are told to offer up little things like a strained relationship, a long commute, or a bank account that always seems low.

Less often do we hear about the Big Cross. The one Jesus died on and the martyrs who have followed in his footsteps all the way to death.

Lately though, it can feel like Luke’s account of Jesus’ words about denying oneself has a more and more literal application to daily life, or at least to the daily news. Maybe this Lent, those of us Christians who enjoy peace and safety can reflect on the fact that, for so many of our Christian brothers and sisters and their families around the world, death for Christ is a “daily cross.” For so many of them, to struggle with the day-to-day would be a luxury.

By Ashley McGuire