Carry Your Cross With Jesus
Thursday of Week 4 in Lent
Wis. 2:1,12-22 & Jn. 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
"The godless say to themselves, ‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man since he annoys us.’” I am sure we can all recognise that situation. You try your best to do something worthwhile but there is always someone waiting to criticise you and thwart you. Life is full of trials and it sometimes seems as if the good people have a particularly hard time and the ‘baddies’ have an easy ride.
This was especially true of Jesus, the completely sinless man. He spent His life trying to bring goodness into other people's lives, yet He was hated and feared by the religious leaders of the time. The first reading, from the Book of Wisdom foretells and explains the reason for this hatred. Jesus is a reproof to their way of thinking. The paths He treads are unfamiliar, His gentleness and goodness are intolerable, and so He is treated with cruelty and torture.
There is a great deal of evil in our world and it is always opposed to goodness. This is so clearly seen in the life of Jesus and we, His followers, can expect no better. We have to recognise this fact and accept it. When we find the Cross hard to carry we must look at Our Lord Who carried the heaviest the world has ever known.
If He, Our Lord and Master had to do this, what right have we to expect that we should be spared it? When the cross is very heavy people become discouraged, frustrated and broken. They say, 'I have done my best and what good has that done me? It has only brought me criticism and hatred.' It is at this low point that we must remember that God is closest to us. “The Lord is close to the broken hearted” as the psalmist says, like the Good Shepherd close to the stray sheep that needed Him the most.
It is when we think we are the farthest from God and forgotten by Him that we are the nearest to Him. Did He not leave the ninety nine and go after the one that was lost? So if you are genuinely doing your best do not be discouraged because God will certainly comfort you.
Lord Jesus, with just two weeks to Good Friday, let us thank You for all You suffered for us. Help us to accept willingly the daily crosses that come our way and to unite them to Your Cross for the spiritual good of ourselves and the people for whom we pray.