Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21
Oftentimes, people say concerning one challenge of life, or of an unchanging troublesome situation of life: “it’s my cross.” The cross is perceived as something unpleasant and burdensome, that inconveniences your life. Difficulties, hardships, or embarrassing situations that tend to remain despite all efforts to avert them, is summarized as a “cross”. What does “the Cross” mean, and what does it mean to take up your Cross? Does it mean enduring a bad marriage, or maybe silently suffering an unfair arrangement?
According to the scripture, the Cross is the symbol of death. For us, it is the symbol of the death of Christ; it is the symbol of the divine strategy that defeated darkness, and brought about the deliverance of man (Hebrews 2:14-15). It was the Cross that brought about the death that destroyed him that had the power of death (the devil), and it was at the Cross that Christ released those who had been held bondage all their lifetime.
According to one Christian writer, “The Cross is the cut-off point. It is the cut-off point from sin, the world, the devil and from sickness” (1 peter 2:24; Gal. 6:14; Eph. 2:16; Col 2:14). It was at the Cross that everything concerning the Adamic nature finished, and as a Christian preacher enthused, “The Cross was where heaven responded, to end the corruption that defiled God’s perfect man. It is there that the veil that separated us from God was cut-off, and the enmity between God and man finished.” The Cross is the only gate-way to life and glory. Otherwise, without the Cross, man remains miserable and in bondage.
Beloved, these wonders of the Cross became so clear to Paul the Apostle that he declared, “God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross…” (Galatians 6:14) Great saints of old saw and understood what the Cross was, they wrote great songs and made remarkable prayers about it. But somehow in our days, believers believe differently from these great Fathers of our faith. We see the Cross as unpleasant situations and unfavorable conditions, and sometimes as a wooden monument. And we seek for ways to escape when the word Cross comes up.
Beloved, what is the Cross to you? Are the wonders of the Cross still not clear to you? In the Cross is your glory hidden, don’t despise it. In it is your victory over all that hinders you from becoming the person God desires you to be.
MASS: VIOLET Jer 20:10-13; Ps 18:1-2a. 2bc-3. 4-5. 6 (R.6); Accl. Jn 6:63c. 68c; Jn 10: 31-42
Prayer Points:

Let’s join St. Leo in this beautiful prayer: “Thy cross, O Lord, is the source of all blessings, the cause of all graces; by it the faithful find strength in weakness, glory in shame, life in death.”

O Lord, grant me the grace to imitate and practice Your teachings and examples which