Carrying Our Crosses

Posted on August 29, 2023 by Published by

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 Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah in the first reading proves it. 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 him and mocking him. Instead of listening to Jeremiah, the people derided and rejected him. And, this was Jeremiah’s cross. Such humiliations were his cross.

Even more, we know that this cross was not easy for Jeremiah to carry; it was painful and bitter—so painful and bitter that Jeremiah was prepared to forget, and to stop speaking about God. He was ready to give up. Instead, he persevered. Despite his rebelliousness and complaints, Jeremiah continued to carry his cross, serve the people, and follow God.

Jeremiah’s example, along with Jesus’ testimony in the Gospel about the suffering he would have to endure, clearly reveals that the Church and each true member of the Church must go through persecution and suffering. Each person must carry his cross. For it is precisely the cross which leads to the triumph of the resurrection and eternal life.

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, it is a matter of discovering Jesus’ presence in our daily lives in order to experience the deeper sense—the 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 to our hearts. Please come into our life. And please help us to carry our crosses. Please come to us, Lord Jesus, and teach us how to discover Your ways and Your role in our life. Come and teach us to follow Your will and to transform our way of thinking.

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, despite their human thinking.

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 124

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