Scripture Reading: Galatians 6:14 – 18
Let us start today’s reflection with the words of the Psalmist, “Praise God with shouts of joy, all people! Sing to the glory of his name; offer him glorious praise! Say to God how wonderful are the things you do! Your power is so great that your enemies bow down in fear before you.”(Ps. 66:1-3). God came down in the person of His Son Jesus Christ and offered Himself to the world as sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. This sacrifice on the Cross represents the horrible death that the Saviour suffered for the eternal salvation of the whole world. Beloved, I want to report to you, dear believer that this Cross is now the barrier by which the world is fenced off from us and us from the world. The world here means everything that is opposed to God, His Kingdom and His righteousness. No wonder St. Paul says, “Now we have received not the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that is freely given to us by God.” (1 Cor. 2:12)
Today, the Church presents to us in the second reading the fact that those who make the Cross of Jesus their lives and their boast, the world with all its accepted standards, lifestyles, values, opinions, honours is not cherished, loved or sought after. The reason is that we are crucified with Christ on the Cross and therefore crucified to the world and its sinful contents. Hear St. Paul, “But God forbids that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”“From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ.”(Galatians Verses 14 and 17).
Beloved in Christ, what is the Cross of Jesus? What does His sacrificial death on the Cross, mean to you? Listen to this, “Go where you wish, seek as much as you wish, and you will not find a sublime road above, not a safer way below, than the road of the Holy Cross.”(Imitation of Christ Bk. 11, 12, 3). St. Peter Claver says, “Jesus Christ, son of God, you shall be my Father, my mother and all good. I love you much!” Though the preaching of the Cross brought persecution to St. Paul, but he would not stop preaching to the people, the manifestation of God’s grace through the Cross. (Romans 1:16). All that Paul had gained in this world, he had sacrificed for the grace that came forth from the Cross (Phil. 3:3 -7). His old man of sin had been crucified when he encountered Jesus and His Cross (Rm. 6:6). Some trust in themselves and so they glory in the glowing report of their works, but a true humble believer glories in the sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross. He sees the Cross of Christ as the only medium and instrument of salvation and not by his religious knowledge. Through the Cross, Jesus the son of God shed His Blood, which cleansed mankind of sins and reconciled him back to His Creator. Man has no basis whatsoever to boast, because without the Cross and the shedding of Blood, salvation would never have happened. The Holy Spirit says to you today, “Develop the attitude of gazing on the cross of your salvation for therein lies your defence and protection against the world standards. Therein lies the reconciliatory note between you and your Creator. Therein lies your joy, peace and restoration.”
- Take a worship song as you are led.
- For Catholics, go through the Stations of the Cross meditatively.
- Meditate over the Passion of Christ in John 18:1 – 40 (At your free time)
- Pray the prayer of St. Padre Pio (meditatively).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to gaze on the Cross daily.
- Pray for all who do not believe in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
- Pray for nations and religions that hate Christians and hunt them to death for preaching Christ crucified.
Exercise: Get a blessed Crucifix into your house and ensure that you gaze on it daily.
Memory Verse: Numbers 21:9.