Preparing for Consecration
Week 3, Day 4: Matthew 27:36-44
Knowledge of Jesus Christ
During this period we shall apply ourselves to the study of Jesus Christ. His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.
It is said that the cross we bear is that which leads us to holiness; that without our cross we would not be able to find salvation. We also hear that God does not ask of us what we cannot give (1 Cor 10:13). Yet our human condition drives us to find, not hardship, rather an easy life, a comfortable life. And if we suffer even small inconveniences we moan and complain. How then do we accept our true cross and pursue true holiness when our bodies resist such an idea? Let us begin with the discipline to accept even the smallest of hardships without a word, rather in thanksgiving to God for being such a gentle master. And as we recognize the crosses in our lives, that we receive the grace to accept with docility, obedience, quiet contemplation, and indeed with thanksgiving, all that God determines is good for us. – Bernadette Harmon
36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews." 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
The Royal Road Of The Holy Cross
To many the saying, "Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me," (Mt 16:24) seems hard, but it will be much harder to hear that final word: "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." (Mt 25:41) Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear that they will hear of eternal damnation on the day of judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then all the servants of the cross, who during life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with great trust to Christ, the judge.
Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win a kingdom? In the cross is salvation, in the cross is life, in the cross is protection from enemies, in the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness, in the cross is strength of mind, in the cross is joy of spirit, in the cross is highest virtue, in the cross is perfect holiness. There is no salvation of soul nor hope of everlasting life but in the cross.
Take up your cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and you shall enter eternal life. He Himself opened the way before you in carrying His cross, and upon it He died for you, that you, too, might take up your cross and long to die upon it. If you die with Him, you shall also live with Him, and if you share His suffering, you shall also share His glory.