>> Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Jesus Bears the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You.
Because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
Then (Pilate) handed him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
~John 19: 16-17
Lord Jesus, the cross is the instrument of the
most shameful execution,
but You embrace it eagerly as the key that will open the
floodgates of grace and the fullness of life to all.
The rough beam burns deeply into Your wounded shoulders,
the darkness of sin and rejection
weighing heavily on Your generous Heart.
You are already near death,
barely resembling the charismatic rabbi
so recently speaking with authority, healing the broken, and forgiving sins.
But You choose this way freely:
“No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (Jn 10:18)
And this is the definition of true gift;
the value of a gift is not in what we allow to be taken from us,
but in what we freely give.
Lord, we often place limits or conditions
on what we will give or do.
But if we will have life and have it to the full,
we must be willing to pour ourselves out for others,
to take up our cross and follow You (Mark 8:34).
Help us to say YES to Your way, to be heedless of the
thorns and splinters we will encounter as we embrace our daily deaths
so that we can rise to new life in You.
Give us the interior freedom to embrace the
cross of our own immolation and carry it to the end,
knowing that You have gone before us and carry it with us.
May Your embrace of the cross inspire us to
do the will of the Father as He wants it done, so that
we are doing God’s work, not works for God.