We associate mostly our sufferings and burdens in life with the image of the cross. Most people would say: “Ang bigat ng Krus na dala ko.” (The cross I carry is too heavy for me.)
In the Gospel, Jesus teaches us that these crosses, which we refer as sufferings and burdens, should lead us in becoming holy people and not desperate people. Why? Jesus said that if we want to follow Him, we must carry our crosses and not associate it to a curse.
These crosses that we have are gifts from the Lord for us to become holy. It will lead us much closer to Jesus through our prayers and intercessions. We do remember how He was helped by Simon of Cyrene. Likewise, as we carry our own cross, we will also be helped by Jesus to trod the way.
If we look at our crosses as a sign of punishment, we cannot move along but rather we will just drag ourselves down and it can lead to despair and desolation. Every day is an invitation to always ponder and carry our crosses because it is the only way in which we can follow Jesus.
I remember before that I used to compare myself to others, my struggles and achievements with their own struggles and achievements as well. Yet someone reminded me that each individual is very much unique. No two people have the same struggles and achievements. It depends upon God how He will grant a person His cross because God knows that the cross He has given to me and to all of us is a cross that we can carry and triumphantly finish the race He prepared for us. All we need is a readiness of the heart.
By Sem. Peter Crisostomo
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”