Thursday, March 20, 2014

Christ said Take up YOUR Cross

Half-way through Great and Holy Lent we are brought face-to-face with the Veneration of the Precious and Holy Cross of Christ. In the Gospel read on the Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus calls each of us to discipleship with the words, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8.34) Many things can be said about taking up our cross, but one thing is for certain. Christ NEVER said, take up someone else’s cross and follow Him.

A constant theme of our Christian journey is the call to humility. Weeks ago the Church reminded us to be like the humble tax collector rather than the prideful Pharisee. We were challenged to humble ourselves in repentance and return to our Father. And this week, we are called by Christ to take up OUR cross, deny ourselves and follow Him. What is the difference between MY cross and YOUR cross? It’s mine with all my strengths and weaknesses. It’s my personal struggle with the passions that are unique to my Christian struggle, or cross. Your cross is yours.

To take up YOUR cross is to accept your Christian struggle as YOUR Christian struggle, rather than comparing your struggle to everyone else’s struggle. Humility isn’t only for the blessings we experience, but for the challenges as well. What might seem like a heavy burden for you may be light for another; but what seems light to you, may seem heavy for another. Only when you focus on YOUR cross, can you fully appreciate the grace that the Precious and Holy Cross of Christ has for you in your life.

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