Hard to believe Holy Week is next week. It has been a trying Lent for me and certainly not one to be forgotten. Aside from the obvious health scare, I have been battling patience among other things. Although this is a normal
struggle, it has been worse than usual. In the midst of my struggles, I am thankful that I have a God that showed me exactly how to carry my cross.
Why is it that Jesus, who is our Lord, allowed himself to suffer? Why
is it that he allowed himself to be beaten, scourged, and spit upon? How is it that the Lord who could move mountains allowed himself to struggle under a heavy cross and fall several times? How is it that the maker of the heavens and the earth
had his hands pierced for our sins? I can scarcely believe that the Lord of all hung on a cross for three hours before dying for my sins.
Reflecting on the mystery of Christ’s suffering is of great spiritual
benefit to us all. It should make us feel sorry for our sins and the part we play in Christ’s suffering; but this is not the end. Christ’s suffering should remind us that we too will suffer. This is just life until Christ
comes again. It is an imperfect world. Even more, Christ teaches us HOW to suffer. How was it that Christ suffered?
In the Garden, when Christ suffered great torment at the thought of the path before him, he
turned to his Father in prayer. When we are faced with uncertainty and distress, we should turn to God in earnest prayer. When Jesus faced the High Priests or Pilate he was not afraid to speak the truth whatever the costs. We too must be
willing to speak the truth at any cost. When Christ carried his cross and it became so heavy he fell, he struggled to get back on his feet. We are going to stumble and fall, we must continue to get up and fight the good fight. When Christ
felt he could go on not more, he was aided by Simon of Cyrene who helped him carry his cross. We must be humble and willing to turn to our family and friends in our distress and ask them for prayers and assistance. Despite his own personal struggle,
despite the abuse and insults that were hurled at him, Christ never became bitter. He comforts the women he meets on the way, he forgives the thief, he asks his Father to forgive us all as he hangs from the cross. When we are struggling, we must
remember to maintain charity and not become bitter, hostile or angry. Finally, when seeking consolation himself, Christ turns to his mother who never left his side. Mary is our heavenly mother, and like any mother, seeks to bring her children comfort.
We need only ask.
We will have sufferings, however we have been taught how to endure them. We have been shown how to do this with love and humility. We have been shown how to do this without wallowing in self
pity, but instead relying on the grace of God and uniting our suffering to Him.
There is so much more that can be gained from reflecting on Christ’s passion and death, this is just scratching the surface. It is my
prayer that by reflecting on His example, I may carry my crosses well in life. I know I will not do this perfectly, but when I stumble I will endeavor to get back up. By doing this, hopefully at the moment of death I can say as he did, “Father,
into your hands I commend my spirit.”
We all have our walk to Calvary, only with God will we walk it well. May you have a blessed Holy Week. JMJ