12th Sunday of the Year – Take Up Your Cross

Station - Jesus takes his Cross

Study:  Think about a “cross” that you have had in life.  Reflect on how you were able to carry it.

Pray:  Bring your “cross” to the Cross of Christ.  Ask him for the strength you need.

Serve:  Perhaps there is someone in your life who is carrying a heavy cross.  How are you being called to help?

12th Sunday Readings

Jesus answered his question “Who do you say I am?” with a commentary.  The Christ of God came to endure suffering, pain, rejection, and death.

In short, he came to carry a Cross.

I often find that as a priest one of the most gifted times in my ministry is when I have the opportunity to offer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.  I pray with people, often during painful and agonizing moments, and extend the comfort and grace of Jesus Christ.  It is a powerful, moving, and humbling experience.

As I leave, I often am led to gratitude.  It is easy for me to get caught in my own challenges and stresses, to be sidetracked by my own frustrations and issues.   I find that when I confront the crosses that others carry I  begin to count my blessings rather than my problems.

The fact is, we all carry crosses.  Some are small, some are large.  Some are with us only a short time, others last for years.  Yet as we embrace the challenges and difficulties of life we remember that God meets us where we are.  Jesus did not avoid his Cross, and he will walk with us as we carry our own.

Furthermore, the Cross is not the end.  The death and resurrection of Jesus transform the Cross into a sign of hope.  We face our struggles with the promise of God’s redeeming help.  The Cross directs us to face our fears and trust that the Lord’s grace is greater than any darkness in this world.

So what crosses do we confront today?  What challenges do we face?  As we remember the Cross of Christ may we ask the Lord for the help and strength we need today.  Mindful of the blessings God has given us, may we embrace our own cross and trust that God will help us along the way.

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

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