So Many Crosses … And Him With Each

Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and he told them, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. – Mark 8:34 

Our friends all ask about you …
They all know I’m dying down deep inside …
I’m sorry.
I’m Sorry” – John Denver

There is a figurative message in Jesus’s admonition, and there is a literal one. There’s also an irony in his comment, as it would not be long before Jesus faced the same order, in His passion and death, death on a cross.

Few of us have actually experienced carry a full weight cross. There are individuals who make cross-carrying a personal mission every Passiontide. Deacons carry and hold a cross during Good Friday Mass.

But what is our task when taking up our cross?

In conversation with a recently married alum, it occurred to me that there are a thousand little crosses we carry, every day. These are the crosses of conversation, pertinent, playful, painful. These are crosses of compassion and caring. These are the crosses of relationships, in the workplace, in the neighborhood, in the home, in our families. It strikes me that, the more difficult the setting, the heavier the cross.

Perhaps, the heaviest of all is the cross of asking forgiveness. Our Lord welcomes us, through reconciliation, to enter into that special forgiveness and direction to a new path. The greatest challenge may be the one involving working to break down walls and barriers to forgiveness and kindness to each other. Are there times when that special communication is beyond repair? Yes, and this requires a special devotion to pray for a solution, and the assistance of a spiritual and/or professional counselor. A very heavy cross to bear, as the saying goes.

Our path to walk with these crosses is varied, bumpy, rock-strewn, and at times, foggy. But, we will know when we may plant that cross — in a new life and new direction.

Our Lord will guide us where that resting site will be.

Image: Pixabay

Michael Throop