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The Joy of Carrying Your Cross

Aug 8, 2014 | [post_view] Views

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Memorial of Saint Dominic, Priest

August 8, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readings:

First Reading: NA 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7

Responsorial Psalm: DT 32:35CD-36AB, 39ABCD, 41

Gospel: MT 16:24-28

 

 

Reflection:

Jesus,  in our Gospel, presents to us the cost of discipleship. The word cost means value. It is the value given to something. Applying this word, Jesus teaches us about the true value of being His disciples. And the value lies on carrying our life’s crosses, our burdens in life. Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

The crosses we carry appear in so many forms. They are real human experiences like sickness, problems in life, fear, sadness, loss, sorrow, financial constraints, broken relationships,  failures, oppressions, conflicts, war, etc. At times, we even think that our daily life, our daily routine, our daily labors are a burdens in itself.  Even though we are Christians, we find our crosses hard to carry. We long to just lay it down and never carry it again. We pray to God that He may take it away or just make it lighter.  We even bargain with God that we will be faithful to him if He gives us the favor of unloading our burdens.  Some Christians even blame God for such suffering to the point of not believing in Him anymore. For them, God has deserted them. They feel that God is just not there with them. As a result, they no longer pray, they do not go to Mass anymore and worse, they stop believing in God. They could not bear the thought of a God who is absent, who does not care at all. They carry their crosses alone. And as they journey through life, how heavy will their crosses become?joy-in-jesus

True indeed burdens will just become heavier through life if we carry it alone. This is why Jesus wants us to carry our crosses while remaining  faithful to Him. Because it is only in carrying our crosses for His sake that our burdens become lighter, easier. It can even bring us life.  He said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” We will be able to find our life.  We will be able to find meaning in life, in all our burdens. A meaningless life is a life not worth living. Others even take their own lives because of this. But a meaningful life is a life that brings joy, true inner joy, the joy not felt in ordinary happiness.  It is the joy of living the fullness of life.  We can only find this meaning in Jesus. And we can take hold of it if we remain faithful to Him.

In the Eucharist, Jesus invites us to offer our burdens to Him so that by the Holy Spirit it may be transformed together with the Bread and Wine into His  Body and Blood, into Himself. The crosses we offer are returned to us in Holy Communion, now have become the Body of Christ.  This makes our crosses even much lighter to carry. Isn’t this what we want in life, that God is always with us, that God cares for us, that God helps us in our trials and tribulations in life? Isn’t it that we want truly want in life are all in the Holy Eucharist?

The cost of discipleship then is the value of being Jesus’ disciples.  We carry our crosses for the sake of Jesus because it is through this that we will have Life.  And just and added value (an added cost), there is joy in helping carry each other’s crosses.

 

Image sources: en.wikipedia.org, www.flickr.com

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