do not fear the many crosses
"Pay close attention." —Luke 9:44
Jesus repeatedly tried to speak of His Passion, death on the cross, and resurrection to His disciples. But "they did not grasp" the message of the cross "at all, and they were afraid to question Him about the matter" (Lk 9:45). Even after Jesus died on the cross, the subject remained closed. Not until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit were the minds and hearts of Jesus' disciples open to the message of the absurdity and power of the cross (1 Cor 1:18).
How deeply have each of us accepted the power, glory, and mystery of Jesus' cross and of our "share in His sufferings" (see Phil 3:10) by taking up our own daily crosses? (see Lk 9:23) How have we accepted the following crosses:
- forgiving those who have sinned against us and even continue to do so,
- loving our enemies,
- suffering injustice or persecution,
- suffering redemptively,
- fasting, making sacrifices, and doing other penances,
- working very long and hard for the Lord,
- being a full-time caregiver,
- seeing loved ones suffer,
- being rejected,
- evangelizing with no apparent effects,
- serving others without being appreciated, or
- not understanding why the Lord permits certain things?
There are many crosses to carry. By God's grace, may we come to glory in the cross (see Gal 6:14).
Prayer: Father, may I be like Mary — "near the cross" (Jn 19:25).
Promise: "Fill us at daybreak with Your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days." —Ps 90:14
Praise: Although having prayed often for healing, John bears a chronic disease with dignity and grace.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004