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The Cross...


“My yoke is easy,

and my burden light.”

(Matt 11:30)


What is the cross? What does the command to take up your cross and follow Me really mean for those of us who are unlikely to be martyred or crucified? As a meditation in our community reminds us, the image of the Incarnate Word pinned to the two planks of the cross is reminiscent of the Word of God inscribed on the two tablets of the Law – which is to say that the “cross” for us, first and foremost, is the Scripture itself, the two “tablets” of the Old and New Testament which (as we put them into practice) deal death to the “old man” and life to the new.


And this, indeed, is a daily task (cf. Luke 9:23)...difficult especially in the daily things.


Forgiving those who wrong us (cf. Matt 6:14)…

always telling the truth (cf. Sir 7:13)…

seeking first the Kingdom of heaven in the confidence that our bodily needs will then be provided for (cf. Matt 6:25ff)…

accepting correction (cf. Prov 10:17)…

loving others as Christ has loved us (cf. John 15:13)…

striving to carry out our respective roles in the family (cf. Eph 5:21-6:4)…

only saying things that build others up (cf. Eph 4:29)…

going to confession (cf. Sir 4:26) with a priest (cf. John 20:21-23)…

not being anxious (cf. Phil 4:6)…

being patient and humble with each other (cf. Col 3:12ff)…

practicing fraternal correction (cf. Matt 18:15ff)…

sharing the Gospel (cf. Matt 28:19)…

being joyful in trials (cf. James 1:2)…

doing good and sharing (cf. Hebrews 13:16)…

keeping our minds fixed on things above (cf. Col 3:1ff)…


The list, of course, goes on and on…all the way up to the perfection of the Son of God (cf. Matt 5:48; Eph 4:13). In every reading for every Mass we will find a new challenge, a new invitation from the Lord to take up this yoke of His which binds us ever more closely to Him.


As we often point out in the community, He promises us that this yoke – difficult as it may be at times to accept with our whole heart – is indeed easy and light (cf. Matt 11:30) …because, unlike the crosses of the world, it brings us joy and peace as we submit to it.

How much are we taking up the “cross” of the Scriptures this Lent?

“Are the loving but demanding words of Jesus only to be heard? Or are they rather to be heard and put into practice? Did he not say, ‘Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’? Our Lord asks all men...to become saints.” (St. Josemaría Escrivá, “Christ is Passing By,” n. 33)

 

Lenten Challenge, Week 4: try to spend at least 15 minutes a day this week praying with the daily Mass readings, with a special focus on how you can put one aspect of those readings into practice in your daily life.





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