“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers, and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple… In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Speaking about the cross, we often associate it with difficulties in life that we encounter every day. We have our own problems, illnesses, sacrifices, and other negative things that we carry as a burden on our shoulders. No man is exempt from these loads and so we carry them every day, with the acceptance that these are part and parcel of our life.
Our cross is nothing more than our misery and our unfortunate situation which is, often, are a product of our failures and mistakes that we commit each day. However, sometimes crazy people cause these evil things and situations around us just like the poverty that our country is facing due to the greediness and insensitivity of some of our leaders. The prices of our basic commodities had soared high to the limits of our budget because of war and chaos everywhere.
There are also events in our life when the cross comes to us inconspicuously as when a strong typhoon or flash floods would hit us unprepared. We hear of people who have nowhere else to go after their homes were destroyed by the rains and the floods. Harsher is when our houses, which we built over the years at the sweat of our brow, will be ravaged by fire and dust is all that is left for us to absorb our tears.
All these life events are crosses, and we must carry them every day no matter how heavy they may seem at times. Our Lord Jesus carried His with all humility as God, and with all acceptance being the Son. He carried His cross knowing, that in the end, it will be His crowning glory and it was destined to be His throne and a symbol of his victory over death and sin. He embraced His cross and loved it just the same way He loved us all.
People of this present generation hate the cross and all that connect to sufferings and sacrifices. We enjoy “instant” things that this world offers us that is why even the simple act of waiting becomes a burden and a cross for us. Our world is moving on such a fast pace and sometimes we find it difficult to cope up. I do not understand why we need to have an iced coffee when it is more fun sipping it slowly when hot. I do not understand why I must drive fast when I can do it slowly and enjoy the stories behind each place that I pass through and likewise feed my eyes with the beauty of nature that God has created for us to enjoy. We are rushing back and forth, and we do not even realize that in the primetime of our life we have nothing else to do because we had done doing everything when we were just beginning to enjoy life itself.
The cross is not just a mere symbol of us being Christians, but it is a directional guide that will lead us to our Creator and to our heavenly abode. It is an essential aspect of our Christian life because without the cross of Christ everything that pertains to our faith loses its meaning. Even the resurrection of Christ from the dead will be just an amazing event but not a liberating moment in our Christian life if without the cross.
Sacrifices and sufferings are part and parcel of our human existence and, for us, Christians, it is more than that because we have and ought to embrace it no matter the weight of our own crosses. In St. Luke’s gospel, Christ is telling us; “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot me my disciple.” Our day-to-day experience as Christians, in our relationships with other people, all our efforts must lead us to the cross because it is only through embracing this cross that we will find meaning in our faith.
Christ does not give us a cross which is more than heavy to bear. But if we really think that He is unfair, then we can sit and relax because I know, and I am sure that He will carry that cross for us only to make sure that we make it home to our Creator. So, have faith and relax because our God is a very loving God, and He will never abandon us for He loved us so much that He gave us His Son for our salvation. His dying on the cross because of our sins is the greatest expression of God’s love for all of us.