The Cross is our Gift  

Posted by Rob Boileau in , , , , ,

I wanted to post this yesterday, as it has to do with the readings for Mass from the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Unfortunately though, I wasn't able to find the time yesterday to post it, so please forgive the day-late post.

Rejoice! …For the work of our redemption is at hand! My friends, that glorious cross upon which our Beloved Lord was raised is soon to be raised once more, as we are quickly approaching the Easter Triduum. Traditionally, this Sunday is given the title of Laetare Sunday, meaning we must rejoice! We have much cause for rejoicing here as we prepare to enter into the most solemn time in the Liturgical Year. By opening our hearts to God’s love and the many blessings He has prepared for us, we will be able to experience countless graces over these next few weeks. As Lent comes to a close, the Church asks you and me to examine our lives in light of the cross, and to remember the infinite love our God has for each and every one of us.

Just how great is this love? The Gospel of Saint John tells us that “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”. How good is our God! The God of the entire universe, all powerful, all-knowing, and supreme among the nations, came to earth as a fragile little baby, completely dependent on Mary and Joseph to survive — for the purpose of suffering a cruel, torturing, gruesome death at the hands of pagan soldiers thirty-three years later. What love He has for us! We would do well to echo the words of the Psalmist and repeat that beautiful prayer, “Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!”

Saint Paul tells us in the second reading that God has raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavens in Christ Jesus. Christ bore our infirmities and suffered the pains of death in our place, so that – even though we are unworthy – the gates of heaven would be opened for us, and we would receive the most blessed grace to enter into union with God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. By raising us up with Christ, God has given every one of us a gift: the gift of our cross. For it is by carrying our crosses, just as Christ did as He walked the path to Calvary, that we might glorify our Heavenly Father with His Son, in union with the Holy Spirit. It is so important that we beg the Holy Spirit for the strength we need to carry our crosses, for it is impossible for us to carry them alone. However, all things are possible for God, and if we do all things through and for Him, it becomes easy to live our lives in Christ. Just as the Spirit strengthened Christ in His darkest hour, we too will be given the grace we need to imitate Christ when we feel like the weight of the world is upon us. Even if life seems to reach that point sometimes where everything seems impossible to handle, we have to remember that if it wasn’t for our crosses, we could never be able to be raised up in Christ Jesus! How privileged we are that God would love us so much to give us that very same instrument He prepared for His Son, that like Him, we too can be crucified and raised up again to love Him in return for all eternity!

Saint John Vianney pleads for those who do not know the love of God, as he has said, “Oh, if I could only lead you to Mount Calvary, where our Lord died, for the sake of our salvation. But even if I could do that, it would be necessary that God should give you the grace of inflaming in your heart the burning love of St. Bernard, who broke out in tears at the mere sight of the cross!” My friends, during this time of Lent it is important for us to continue to pray for each other, recognizing that by loving one another we can reflect the love of God. His Holiness Pope Paul VI in his Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes reminds us that Jesus taught His disciples, telling them that charity is not something to be reserved for important matters, but must be pursued chiefly in the ordinary circumstances of life. Undergoing death itself for all of us sinners, He taught us by example that we too must shoulder that cross which the world and the flesh inflict upon those who search after peace and justice. How pleased God must be when we live in the good works that He has prepared for us, as Saint Paul tells us we should strive to do! May all of us who truly desire to take up our crosses and follow Christ to Calvary pray for the courage and conviction we need to be living witnesses to the gospel. In a world that needs us desperately to be living icons of Christ for one another, let us always love our neighbor as God loves us, and imitate our Heavenly Redeemer for the greater glory of God and His bride the Church.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 23, 2009 at Monday, March 23, 2009 and is filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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