MONDAY MESSAGE FOR THE DEPRESSED 23….
The cross has become the quintessential symbol for the Christian faith. In the earliest times it is highly cruel and shameful to die through the cross. Crucifixion was the arguably the most shameful way to die in the first century. Jesus chose this way. It looks confusing; it looks very stupid how God will choose to die in the hands of humans and the worst on the cross. Dying on the cross is one of the unacceptable things a Jew can do. The Cross was adopted by the Roman Empire with the intent to suppress and intimidate. It was devised as a method of execution that prolonged the suffering and death of a victim. It was originally reserved exclusively for slaves and was considered one of the most humiliating and shameful things a person could ever endure. No one would accept that in our time.
God would have used another way to save the world; He would have shown the world signs in heaven to prove He has forgiven the world. For Jesus to choose the most painful and cruel way of agony, shows that something must be behind the cross. The way of the cross is filled with persecutions, agony, trials, suffering and death. It is full of pains, rejection and mockery. The way of the cross is unacceptable but first our Parents chose the way of pleasure and plunged us into suffering and death but Jesus chose the way of the cross and brought salvation.
The cross looks shameful but behind the cross, there is victory, there is salvation. It was no longer seen as a place where Jesus was overcome by shame, mocked and laughed at but a location where shame was overcome by Jesus, a place where God’s mercy now flow like a living water. In other words, Jesus transformed the cross from a place of shame to a place of victory. Jesus was stripped and humiliated, bore the cross in front of a crowd, scorned, despised, mocked and abused to the point of death. It is also Jesus that God resurrected and lifted up the highest place in Heaven giving him the name above every name (Philippians 2 verses 6-10). Now by His wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:2-5). At the mention of his name every kingdom bows.
In the cross, there is no longer loss but victory, no condemnation but vindication, no humiliation but exaltation. No shame, but glory. The way of the cross (the way of self-denial), is the way of life, for “If anyone desires to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23. The way of the cross is giving yourself entirely to God. Jesus accepted the cross to fulfill the will of the Father, and God exalted Him. Just as Jesus had to bear His cross, we have a cross to bear as well. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Our cross represents the same for us as Jesus’ cross represented for Him. Our salvation can also come through our daily crosses.
Sometimes behind our cross is a perfect victory. Sometimes when you think all hope is lost, blessings you never imagined could be on the way. Beloved never despise the cross. The cross is our symbol. It is the symbol of our victory; it is the way of glory. No one is without a cross, find out your cross and carry it with joy. There is always victory at last. Today many of us want the way of pleasure, the way of comfortability, the way of flexing, the way of enjoyment and this has made many to enter many occultic groups, this has made many to make evil covenants, this has made many to thread where they are not supposed to which after they have come to themselves, they begin to regret. The truth is that this life is not eternal. Why you kill, kidnap, dupe, and scam to enjoy the world, do not forget your life here is limited. You have an eternal life to protect. The way of the cross is not wanted or cherished by anyone, no one wants it but sometimes blessings are packaged behind it. Jesus is the way. Follow the way. Sometimes only in the Cross of Christ can we receive power when we are powerless, find strength when we are weak, experience hope when our situation is hopeless. Only in the Cross is there peace for our troubled hearts.
Many people today who have made mistakes in life are those who wander from place to another seeking for solutions to their problems. Let me surprise you a little, God may give you a challenging situation to lead you to your destiny. God may allow you to be betrayed to lead where He wants you to work for Him. God may allow you to pass through rejection to wake up the hidden talents in you. Most great men today are those who rose up to their challenges. Most of the great books today that now inspire people are written under challenging situations. So many who suffer one sickness or the other may be a cross for expiation of their sins. Look into your cross and find out the reason behind it. Not every problem is man made, not every problem is a problem even. Most of the things you see as problems are blessings but hidden. Anyone who sees Jesus suffering will call him stupid, but he knows the power behind the cross. Accept the cross today, it may lead you to the crown. Do not lose your faith in God because you were rejected, because something so painful happened to you, live a life of total dependence on God. So many challenging situations have a destined purpose. Grab it with joy.
May God bless you dearest to accept this wisdom given to us by Christ and depend on Him both in good times and in bad times. May He give us the grace to still stand firm in the midst of problems and difficulties Amen.
Fr. Sanctus MArio