As the penitential season of Lent comes to a close and we approach Good Friday and Easter Sunday many Christians have reflected on the penances they have done and the cross they have born for the love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While this may afford them opportunities for grace I would venture that most of these penances have been tainted with many self interested or myopic motives. Often times I have witnessed people in the world and many Christians bearing heavy crosses or burdens that seem to unbearable to carry; however they bear these crosses with unspeakable love and patience. This is possible because they do not feel their own cross because they are continually trying to help their fellow brothers and sisters with their cross. These saints are so immersed in lovingly bearing the cross of others that they recognize none of their own. True love rises above pain and unites itself in love to lessen others burdens.
The Christian who truly follows Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ carries no cross of his own, but carries the cross of his neighbor for the love of his Lord. In our Lord's time the "cross" was the symbol for punishment and death for the most heinous criminals. With His victory over sin and death we now have the grace to love our neighbor enough to releave him of his cross. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not bear His Cross, but carried ours, so that out of love for Him we could do that for our neighbor. My life is continual joy in Our Lord's Kingdom; however I bear the cross of my poor brothers and sisters who are continually being brutally murdered in their mothers wombs and we carry the cross of all those who are in satan's bondage due to sin. We carry that cross so like the prodigal child they may have the strength to carry their cross back to their loving Father in true repentance and like the "good thief" no longer consider their cross (the consequences of their sin) but the Loving Cross of Christ which bore our sin. A true follower of Our Lord knows that his sin has denied the Good God the love and honor due to Him. The sight of the mutilation of Our Lord Jesus as he climbs to Calvary should fill our hearts with repentance for our lack of love and like Simon of Cyrene let us help our neighbor come to the Truth shown to us and won for us on that Cross! Viva Cristo Rey!