Weekend Reflections for 9/1/17
The Christian life is full of paradoxes. We must die in order to live. If we tap into our heart's desire to be a disciple, we must first deny ourselves. To follow Jesus in glory we must learn to suffer in love.
This Sunday's Gospel is an exhortation to love, but in paradox form. Love, St. Ignatius tells us, is a mutual sharing of gifts, where the lover shares with the beloved. Jesus wishes, in love, to share his cross with you and me. Certainly it is not because it's too heavy for him to bear alone. Rather the cross strengthens our own spiritual muscles. It teaches us love, altruistic love focused on the good of the other. It teaches us intimacy as we experience just what Jesus experienced. The greatest danger of the cross is to think we are bearing it alone however. We never walk alone in bearing the cross. It is always with Jesus.
Let us reflect this week on intimacy gained through suffering, thinking about a pregnant mother, a father who works extra hours for the love of his family, and those in Houston and surrounding areas who are diving in to suffer with and help those who have been devastated by the damages brought about by the hurricane. May we too allow the cross to be experienced as something joyful, with Jesus.
Fr. Anthony Wieck, S.J.