He did not give up because of the cross!
(c.f. Hebews 12:2)
June 3-9, 2013
Objective of the week:
To be able to recognize God’s saving grace in our daily carrying of the cross.
Last week we were invited to ponder on the self-giving of Jesus in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist through the work of the Spirit in us.
This week, we now enter the 9th week in ordinary time; we are invited to carry our daily cross and not to deny it in our following of Jesus.
What’s in the cross? When we look at the cross, we always associate it with suffering, pain, hardships, and we saw how Jesus suffered because of it. Carrying our cross daily is never easy because of the pain. We always wanted the easiest way but Jesus always telling us if we want to follow Him, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. Jesus suffered too but He wants us to know that there’s salvation behind the cross. There’s joy after the pain.
He showed us how to carry our cross everyday, by not giving up. Instead of grumbling over our hardships, pains, why don’t we carry them with compassion and faithfulness. To bring them and place it in the hands of God with so much conviction that we are not alone in this suffering. That Jesus too shared the same suffering with us.
Jesus always meets us in the midst of our pains, sins, anger or even our doubts because of His love and mercy for us. Now that we have experienced Jesus’ saving grace, He is inviting us to do the same to our brothers and sisters. To have a generous heart in responding to their needs and encourage them not to be afraid of the cross.
The way to life
13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14 But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.”
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but the difficulty of it does not make us faint and cave in, it rouses us up to overcome. Do you so appreciate the marvelous salvation of Jesus Christ?
He saves and calls us friends
6 For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. 7 It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! 9 By his sacrificial death we are more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! 10 We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! 11 But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.
Christ died to save us, not in our sins, but from our sins; and we were yet sinners when he died for us. As a follower of Christ, from what were you released by his death? By Divine grace, were you brought to repent, and to believe in Christ, and thus were justified by the price of his blood shedding?
There's joy behind the cross
2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.
Not with bodily eyes but with the eye of understanding, or with the eye of faith, a believer should be always looking to Christ. Do you look at Christ as “Jesus”, a Savior appointed and sent by God, came and become the author of eternal salvation?
3 So Jesus told them this parable: 4 ”Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them – what does he do? He leaves the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and goes looking for the one that got lost until he finds it. 5 When he finds it, he is so happy that he puts it on his shoulders 6 and carries it back home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says to them, ‘ I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’ 7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.”
God’s love for us is immense and infinite He will do everything to find us and bring us back to His loving embrace. This is how Jesus loved us, Jesus’ sacred heart is so loving that He wants us to radiate that love also. He wants us also to seek those who are lost whoever they may be; to let them know that there is a God who looks for us despite of our sinfulness a God who is ever willing to embrace us again and completely delete our record of sins. Can you be merciful and loving to those who are lost and must seek them out? Will you forgive them and must not be quick to judge them?
Walk with Jesus in confidence and trust
3 Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. 4 For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. 5 Have you forgotten the encouraging word which God speaks to you as his sons? “My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6 Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
We are instructed to consider Christ and what He endured when our joy seems to be dissipating and we feel weary and faint. He loves us, He promised never to leave us or forsake us, that things are working out for our good. We have a race to run, of service and sufferings, a course of active and passive obedience, in all of which we need to keep our eyes fixed upon the Lord Jesus. Was there a time that your situation made you feel like running away from him?
Help carry one another's burdens
1 Kings 17:17-24
17 Some time later the widow’s son got sick; he got worse and worse, and finally he died. 18 She said to Elijah, “Man of God, why did you do this to me? Did you come here to remind God of my sins and so cause my son’s death?” 19 “Give the boy to me,” Elijah said. He took the boy from her arms, carried him upstairs to the room where he was staying, and laid him on the bed. 20 Then he prayed aloud, “O Lord my God, why have you done such a terrible thing to this widow? She has been kind enough to take care of me, and now you kill her son!” 21 Then Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times and prayed, “O Lord my God, restore this child to life!” 22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer, the child started breathing again and revived. 23 Elijah took the boy back downstairs to his mother and said to her, “Look, your son is alive!” 24 She answered, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the Lord really speaks through you!”
2 Help carry one another’s burdens and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.
Love, the sacrificial dedication to someone else’s needs, is the real answer to the problems in your life, your family, your community, and your country. Jesus declared the Truth in love, He healed the sick in love, and He bore the shame out of loving forbearance. Love was the reason the Savior endured the cross for our sins. How can you respond to the call to love one another and bear one another’s burdens as well?
10th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Kings 17:17-24
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
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