Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Cross

What we hear this morning is not “Coach” Jesus, shouting from the sidelines, “C’mon. Take up your cross. Let’s hustle!” On the contrary, Jesus is our brave and compassionate companion along the way. In following him, we are made one with him. And he invites us to imitate him – in patience and hope in our Father’s most loving regard for us always. 

Love always gives itself away; it cannot be unaffected by the beloved’s troubles. And so, the cross is inevitable for Jesus and also for us as his disciples, for it is the way he and we can love without limit. That is why he on one occasion he is so adamant with Peter – to deny Jesus the cross would be to keep him from the fulfillment of his total self-gift, to be held back from it is unthinkable. The cross is the “marriage bed” granting him total, unremitting self-surrender to us, down to the very last drop of his most precious blood. This was always the goal of his Incarnation - to share unreservedly in our sorrow, to rescue us from unending death and fear. His coming down to us in Mary’s virgin womb reaches its culmination on the cross, for there he will reveal the unimaginable breadth of God’s boundless compassion.

Jesus allows himself to suffer, because he can do no less. And it is there in this very weakness, the weakness of love, that he reveals the sublimity of his divinity. On the cross God is most truly God. His power is made perfect in his weakness, his power can reveal itself only in our weakness. Battered now as Church, nation, world - angry, confused and hurting, we see our weakness more than ever. Doubtless an unexpected grace is being offered to us. 

Finally, whenever we go to the altar, we go to the cross, where Christ’s body was first offered, where the bread that is his body, God’s wheat, was finely baked in the heat of his passion. May the passion of Christ Jesus our Lord become our own more and more, as we eat his body and drink his blood. 

Photograph by Brother Brian.