Carrying Crosses. February 19, 2015

Jesus is clear, direct and to the point: if you want to follow him, deny yourself and pick up your cross. What an invitation that has little comfort or appeal to our modern tendency to want religion to be positive and comforting. The invitation of jesus is to change the direction we are taking in life, to reorient our lives to letting go and accepting the many crosses that are given to us.
Just what are these crosses? They are simple, pervasive and real: the small disappointments and disillusionments; family difficulties; facing illness; loneliness; disliking one’s job or career; not belonging or fitting in; worrying about children; guilt over a past sin; not knowing one’s purpose; boredom; fear of risk taking; the lust goes on.
We all have crosses and the first step as we begin Lent is the awareness of our personal crosses and accepting them. How freeing it is to accept which doesn’t mean they disappear but are lightened…when we let Jesus help us carry these crosses. Something beautiful , mysterious and life changing occurs in letting jesus in on our crosses: our crosses and the one Cross are united in the salvation of the world. Yes, your accepting of your crosses will help jesus in his Redemption of the entire world, humanity and the cosmos. To borrow a strange and off putting phrase of St. Paul’s, we “fill in what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ.” Obviously, Christ’s suffering in the one Cross is what saves us and redeems us. Uniting our crosses to the one Cross simply completes he Redemption by making ALL of us contributors. Yes, our crosses and the suffering emanating from them help other people!!!! How powerful, beautiful and radical!
You have the ability to reach out to other people in their own suffering by embracing your own crosses. In doing so, your humanity is saturated in compassion…and purpose.
Peace and Joy. Fr. Frank

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