“Owning Our Cross”
By Father Frank Hernandez
Being a believer in Jesus Christ and God our Father is a great thing because we trust in someone else who is meant to help us and guide us in our lives to the good and provide for our needs. Yet, we know that being a believer in the Lord is not easy as well. The reason is that faith is not only living in a meadow of flowers, but living in a meadow that struggles to let flowers bloom sometimes.
Jesus tells His disciples and us in the gospels that: “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14: 27).” This comes from our discipleship and dedication to the Lord. We need to dedicate ourselves completely to Him and that dedication may come at a cost in our daily lives. To have faith in Jesus and the Lord means that we will preach and teach His message in our lives; even if others do not want to listen to that message themselves. No matter the obstacles we face in our life, we need to share the Gospel with others and remain faithful to that Gospel as well.
All of us receive our personal cross at the moment of our Baptism in faith. As we grow up and are formed on the personal relationship with the Lord the cross becomes larger and sometimes heavier depending on our own personal life experiences. As the year goes by the cross gets heavier or lighter depending on the relationship we form and develop with the Lord. There are moments where the cross is too much for us to bear and we want to put it down and leave that cross or pick up another one that is lighter for us to manage. Being a disciple of the Lord means we will carry that cross during the good and bad days of our lives, trying to carry it in this humanity He has given to us.
The only way we can take our daily cross is through a life of prayer and living the example of Jesus. With His help and our trust in Him, we can overcome everything, but we need to trust in the person of Jesus. That He is walking and supporting our cross. We need to have our hearts open to Him at every moment. St. John of the Cross says: “whoever does not seek the cross of Christ, does not seek the glory of Christ.” Our daily cross gets us to heaven, we do not see that sometimes because of our struggles. But those struggles prepare us for our eternal life. We are not alone in this life, Jesus and God are with us always, we have to learn how to let them in our hearts and to trust that this cross of faith is supported by them. Our daily cross is helping us get to heaven we need to trust and have faith every day of our lives.