Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cross Opens the Way to Life from "Journeying with the Lord: Reflections for Everyday" by Cardinal Carlos Maria Martini, SJ:

The cross is ever before us. It wants to speak to us, if only we contemplate it with love, drawn by the power of the Spirit who is the gift of Christ crucified. If we look upon it with awe and affection, the cross becomes an enticing, warm and all-consuming fire: it gives us a challenge.

It asks us many things. The cross asks us, our communities, our societies and our cultures to confirm that there do exist paths from the cross to resolve human problems.

Our experience reveals that pain, suffering and death fill our history.

Jesus did not invent the cross. He, like every man, found it on his journey. The newness of his message was to plant a seed of love into our bearing of the cross. The element of love turned the Way of the Cross into a way that leads to life. The cross itself became a message of love; a means of our transformation. Our cross is also the cross of Jesus!

This cross first embraces each of us, and entrusts us with a duty in our personal life, in our families, among our friends and acquaintances - in sum, with whoever else's cross we encounter. I think of the many broken families, the many illnesses which have not been accepted, of hardened hearts which have become embittered, resentful and brooding. How many crosses have been borne up and down in the elevators of our buildings. How many cross-bearers walk up and down our streets, populate our cities!

From his cross, Jesus invites each of us today to put all these crosses, and not just our own, into relationship with our own. Jesus invites us to do as he did - plant the seed of love and hope in the soil of each of the crosses we encounter.