Thursday, March 1, 2012


We are so accustomed to the cross that it does not hold the horror for us that it did for those of the Roman world. Fr. Robert Barron explains this very well in his series Catholicism which I highly recommend. For the peoples of the Roman Empire the cross was a sign of a method of execution of unbelievable cruelty and means of oppression. It was a symbol of criminality of the worst kind and a brutal form of justice. It is this sign that Jesus embraces and transfigures through His obedient love. He empties Himself by means of the cross and it becomes a seat from which He teaches and proclaims and a throne from which He rules and dispenses justice and mercy. But first He must take it up. First He must embrace it and with it the injustice of His situation. He has already suffered but He will not stop until He has drained the cup of all that separates Man from God. He takes up the Cross and He takes us up with it. He carries us and our sins, our banishment from the Divine Presence, and He carries us. He makes His act of loving obedience, His self-emptying worship of the Father ours. His taking up of the Cross is the root of our repentance for it is through Him that we return to the Father. For the ancients Atlas carried the world upon his shoulder but it is Christ who has the heavier burden for He carries us and all that separates us from God on a human shoulder. Here Divine Justice meets Divine Mercy and they are revealed to Man. Lent is a penitential season, a time to make up in some small way for the sins we have committed, to undone the harm done to ourselves, to others and to the world and the offence given to God. Let us then walk with Christ as He carries us to Calvary. Let us, in however small a way, take up the crosses of each day and follow Him.

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