“Take up your cross and follow me!” March 08, 2020
Dear Friends, I thought it appropriate during the season of Lent, to shift gears a bit. Over the next 6 weeks, I will share some of my personal reflections on the Stations of the Cross. I can’t include all fourteen, so I’ll have the entire booklet posted HERE
For our bulletin, I’ll choose some of my favorites.
2nd Station - Jesus Takes up His Cross: How many times throughout the course of our lives have we made the sign of the cross? How many of us have a cross or a crucifix in our home or on our person, and who has ever taken time to consider why we do so or what it means to us? A cross reminds us and proclaims to others that we are Christians, whereas a crucifix goes a step further. A crucifix however, distinguishes us as Catholic-Christians. The question then becomes: do we live what we profess to believe?
Immediately following Jesus’ first prediction of his passion, he said to his disciples: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Jesus is telling us that following him will not always be easy. It will have its share of burdens, some more difficult than others, but knowing what to expect can make them easier to bear when they come. Jesus gave us an example to follow, and not only that, but a promise as well. He told us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves” (Matt 11: 28-29). So, when faced with a difficult situation, remember the cross or crucifix around your neck or in your home, and know that Jesus understands. He will provide what you need to carry your cross, if we have faith enough to ask him.
Almighty Father, in the last hours of his life, Jesus bore the weight of our sinfulness upon his shoulders, as demonstrated in the cross he carried. He told us that in following him, we too would be called daily to bear our crosses. Help us to follow his example by lovingly taking up our crosses, trusting that Jesus will be there with us to help make our burden light. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.