• Regina Mundi

Reflection from Encounter (Mar 14) | Robyn Aguila

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

We all face our own crosses, and our crosses may take different shapes, sizes, and weight. The Lenten season can often highlight what our personal crosses are, and I’m sure the pandemic might have brought new crosses, brought ones to light, or made pre-existing ones even heavier. I invite you to close your eyes and imagine your cross: - How heavy is it? - How big is it? - Is it new and unfamiliar? Or have you been carrying it for a while? - Are you helping someone carry their cross or is it your own? - Are you wondering why you have to be the one to carry it? - Are you wondering why it is difficult to trust in God’s goodness? - Are you wondering why it is difficult to understand God’s plan in the moment? Open your eyes, but keep your cross in mind. We know that Jesus says “if any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23) and we’re often told to simply embrace our crosses and carry them. While this is true (seeing as Christianity is marked by the sign of the cross and he never promised that it would be easy), it can often sound trite because we forget the whole story, we forget the rest of the Gospel message. Next time you confront your cross, I want you to remember two things: you are not alone and have hope because the story doesn’t end here. You are not alone. Fr Jean C. d’Elbée in I Believe in Love says “Never look at the Cross without Jesus. If I must bear the Cross alone, I renounce it in advance. I do not want to touch the onerous burden with the end of my finger: I am too weak, too cowardly, too sensitive […] but it is with you, Jesus, that I want to suffer.” He goes on to say “Suffering helps us to detach ourselves from earth, to look higher, to remember that earth is a place of passage. That is why we so often find that the poor and the suffering are much nearer to our Lord than others. Sorrow lifts us up; sorrow makes us grow; sorrow liberates.” Where there is a cross, there is Jesus. While Jesus does not promise that this life will be easy, he says “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). And he promises that he will never leave you or forsake you. Let Jesus in. Open the door of your heart to Him, let Him be at the center of your life, and let Him carry it with you. Jesus will only come in if you let him and He will only take what you give him permission to take – this is why surrender is so important. And he might not completely take away your cross , but he will make it lighter or give you the strength to carry it. Will you let Jesus in? Let others in. We know Jesus didn’t carry his cross on his own, he had the help of Simon of Cyrene. There are Simons in your life – your family, your friends, our parish community – who want to help you unload your burdens because they love you. Will you humble your heart to realize you were n