In My Father's House

Poems, Prayers, Inspirations, Photos and Musings about life, love and what it means to be a child of the Father

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Throw Off Your Cross!

Yesterday Fr. Luis David of the Society of Jesus gave us a very radical re-interpretation of the Gospel text "Pick up your mat and walk!" (Mk 2:1-12). Instead of simply rehashing old biblical exegesis he emphasized the often neglected aspect of Jesus' mercy: the empowering and liberating kind of mercy. He said, Jesus is not simply desirous of forgiving us and healing us. He also wants us to take control of our lives, to throw off the yokes that burden us, to cast off the shackles that bind us. And sometimes, to throw off even our very crosses.

We have come to identify suffering as a form of doing good or being holy. Far from it, Fr. David says. Our crosses can become a self-deluding tool, a device for self-paralysis; all in the ruse of following Jesus. Many times we deceive ourselves into believing that only by suffering do we merit God's love and forgiveness. God is a God of mercy and love, He does not want people blindly following Him by making life more difficult for them. He doesn't want us dragging our crosses and mumbling along the way. God wants us to live fuller and happier lives. It's blasphemy to say that God requires our blood, sweat and tears for Him to be glorified.

Come to think of it, Jesus walked this earth of mankind for thirty-three years. And three of those years were the happiest years of His life. His activities showed it: he was fond of parties, of banquets, of visiting friends, of rests and story-telling. Only one day in his life did he walk towards the calvary. Would he rather prefer that we walk with Him in the calvary bearing heavy crosses than as a friend along the beach at dusk?

When our crosses prove to be too heavy, maybe we are adding more weight to it than is necessary. Jesus already carried the Cross for us and we need not carry it back more than we have to carry ourselves as freed and empowered men and women.

God empowers as he does challenge. He gives life as he does heal. He liberates as he forgives.


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