Today's Gospel reading from Mark 8 at Mass truly challenges us. Jesus said to the crowd and his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.... Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." These are hard words we must face or dismiss. They are either truth or rubbish. Ignoring them does not make them go away.