Reading 2 Timothy 2
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
12 if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.
It was Maria’s [his fiancée] birthday on Good Friday. If I didn’t know how courageously she bore the death of her father, her brother and two beloved cousins last year, I should be really concerned about her. She’ll now have the consolation of Easter and the support of her numerous family, and her Red Cross work will keep her fully occupied. Give her my fond love and tell her that she mustn’t be sad, but as brave as she has always been. She’s still so young, that’s the hard part.
Letter to his parents from Tegel prison, 25 April 1943
Death on the cross means suffering and dying as one who is rejected and cast out. Jesus must suffer and be rejected by virtue of divine necessity. Any attempt to interfere with what is necessary is satanic — even and precisely when it comes out of the circle of the disciples, for it does not want to let Christ be Christ.
Thus for Jesus it now becomes necessary to relate the "must” of suffering to his disciples in a clear and unambiguous way. As Christ is Christ only as the suffering and rejected one, so the disciple is a disciple only as one who suffers and is rejected, as one crucified with Jesus.
Discipleship, understood as being bound to the person of Jesus Christ, places the disciple under the law of Christ, that is, under the cross.