Thursday, September 14, 2017

“There is no cross to bear that Christ has not already born for us, and does not now bear with us.”

“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.” ― Hans Urs von Balthasar: (1905 – 1988: was a Swiss theologian and Catholic priest who was to be created a cardinal of the Catholic Church but died before the ceremony

Gospel Text: (JN 3:13-17)
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him. 

The cross, the symbol of Christianity.  In our Catholic faith we think more about the crucifix.  It’s more than a symbol.  Our Savior is on the cross.  The one who emptied Himself, humbled Himself, was obedient, even to death, on a cross.  For us.

When I reflect on the cross I think of when Jesus said if we want to follow Him, we need to take up our cross.  Taking up our cross in life is not something today’s world wants to think about.   Today’s world says we can have it all.  There is no place for suffering.  But while that is what our culture promotes,  who of us really wants to suffer, to deny themselves, to do the work necessary to turn away from sin.   Those aren’t things most of us want to do.  We get the “no pain no gain” perspective on some level and intellectually understand that we grow through our challenges, struggles, and suffering, but we still would prefer not to.

In my life I have come to see another saying from Jesus as an accompaniment to the challenge to take up my cross.  Yes, Our Lord asks me to take up my cross, but He also says “My yoke is easy and My burden light”.  He invites us to come to Him when we are burdened and He will give us rest.  So we might not want to seek out suffering, but when it comes, if we sincerely go to Him, He may not take it away, but, as Paul Claudel  said, He will fill it with His presence. 

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