Last Wednesday our 8th and 9th Graders and their parents met for an evening
Lenten reflection. One of the questions we asked them to think about was “who in your life has taught you about carrying a cross?” I remember nine years ago when our third grandson, Dylan, was born with Down Syndrome. The tears and sadness in our son’s voice as he phoned to tell us of Dylan’s birth broke my heart. In the first 24 hours Sean expressed concern about providing for Dylan, heartbreak that life with Dylan would not be what he had planned, and fear of the unknown. Our daughter-in-law made a statement I will never forget. Angie said, “I want this day to first be a celebration of Dylan’s life, not Down Syndrome.” She taught me about carrying a cross.
Most of us can call to mind a devastating health crisis that takes your breath away for at least a moment. Or what about the death of a loved one taken way to soon? Imagine the feelings you might go through in these situations. Yet, somehow, with the support of friends and family, we get through it. The support of others teaches us about carrying our cross.
In each of these situations it is common for any of us to ask, ‘why me?’ or to beg God to take it away. In Mark’s account of the Passion of Jesus, we hear people jeering and ridiculing Jesus in many ways. While on the cross, people said, “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross.” If you are the Christ, why don’t you save yourself—and us from the cross? We are still asking that same question. Why does God allow such horrible things to happen to good people? Why me? Why us? Why my loved ones?
And yet, it is at the cross that we meet the very mystery of God—and at the heart of that mystery is love. Why is it that love is stronger than pain or fear or anxiety? That’s the way it is! God does not want us to be alone in our most frightening and painful moments.
As we reflect on Christ’s death on a cross, we recall that God came to earth to be in our places of greatest pain. We can hear God say, “I love you. I am with you. I will strengthen you. No matter what your situation, I will be there with you in your pain. I will never leave you alone.” Indeed, through his life and death, Christ teaches us to carry our crosses!
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC