Study: Reflect back on moments where you carried a Cross in your life. Where did you find the strength to carry it?
Pray: Pray for those who are struggling as they endure their Cross, that God will give them the grace they need.
Serve: How can you help someone carry their Cross? How can you help lighten their load?
These are solemn and powerful words that greet us in the Scriptures this week. Here’s a quick recap:
- 1st Reading – Zechariah’s prophecy regarding Jesus “whom they have pierced”
- Psalm – “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.”
- 2nd Reading – Paul reminds us that we are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus
- Gospel – Christ must suffer, and we who follow him must carry our own Cross as well
I’d like to draw out a couple of key points in the light of these readings. First, the Cross directly touches our lives…because pain, suffering, evil and injustice are all part of the landscape of human existence. The Cross of Christ speaks to us because in the Cross the Lord meets us in midst of the mess and muck of life. And as we “look on him whom they have pierced” we see in the prophetic words of Zechariah how Jesus crucifies all suffering in his Cross – and redeems us in his almighty grace!
Second, we all have our own Crosses. We have been on both the giving and receiving end of hardship, and we know firsthand our own Crosses that we have carried (and have seen others carry theirs as well.) We then recall how our Cross is a tiny splinter of the Lord’s – and that when we carry our Cross we participate in a small but significant way in the Lord’s sacrifice at Calvary.
What is your Cross? What is the burden you bear at this point in your life? May we turn to the Lord for the strength and grace we need, confident that as Christ was triumphant in his Cross he will give us the help we need to carry our own.