Carrying Our Crosses Brings Us Closer to Jesus
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
My brothers and sisters, each of us is invited to be students of Jesus Christ. In order to do well, we must learn with joy. We must undertake our studies, as well as the sufferings and difficulties that accompany them, with courage.
At the same time, our formation in itself is not enough to bring us into a deep relationship with Jesus. We also need to be resolved to growing in our spiritual life with our whole heart and whole soul. In fact, we should be so dedicated to our spiritual life that our hearts are enflamed with the Holy Spirit, Who transforms and purifies us.
As Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel: in order to have a deep spiritual life, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. This, my brothers and sisters, is not easy, and the prophet Jeremiah in the first reading proves it.
The prophet Jeremiah had a gentle nature. He was not a strong man. From a human point of view, he was not even fit to be a prophet. Nevertheless, God chose Jeremiah to tell the people to change their lives and to return to God. Yet, when Jeremiah tried to tell the people to change, they only responded by laughing at and mocking him. Instead of listening, the people derided Jeremiah and rejected him. And, my brothers and sisters, this humiliation and rejection were Jeremiah’s cross. We know that this cross was not easy for Jeremiah to carry; in fact, it was so painful and bitter that he was even ready to forget and stop speaking about God. Yet, Jeremiah did not give up. Despite his rebelliousness and his complaints, he continued to carry his cross, serve the people, and follow God.
Jeremiah’s example and with Jesus’ testimony about the suffering that he would have to endure clearly reveal that the Church and each true follower of Christ must go through persecution and suffering. Each person must carry his cross; for, precisely the cross leads to the triumph of the resurrection and eternal life.
My brothers and sisters, each of us has his own cross to carry. Each of us is also called, like Jeremiah, to serve the Church in a particular way. For us, this is a matter of discovering Jesus’ presence in our daily lives in order to experience the deeper spiritual sense of the crosses that we carry and the ways in which we serve. Therefore, on this day, let us pray: Jesus, please come into our hearts and lives. Please help us to carry our crosses. Please teach us how to discover Your ways and follow Your will in our lives. Please transform our way of thinking and give us the eyes of faith. Please come with Your power and help us to carry our crosses so that our yoke will become sweeter and our burden will become lighter.
Please come, Jesus, and lead us to eternal life as You led the prophet Jeremiah and St. Peter, not only despite but because of their human thinking. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Arthur Marat
Readings for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 124Tags: #arturmarat, #homily, #mass, #olw, #sundaymass