And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?  
(St. Luke 9.23-25)

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Matthew chapter 26 vs 66:

“What is your judgement?” They answered, “He deserves death.”.

Lord Jesus,
our night grows ever darker!
Poverty increases and becomes destitution.
We have no bread to give our children and our nets are empty.
Our future is uncertain. Provide the work we need.
Awaken in us a burning thirst for justice,
that our lives may not be a constant burden, 
but lived in dignity! Amen.

Fingers pointed in accusation

Jesus Bears His Cross

23 Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. 25 What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? 26 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.27 But truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.’

Meditation: 

It is also the burden of all those wrongs which created the economic crisis and its grave social consequences: job insecurity, unemployment, dismissals, an economy that rules rather than serves, financial speculation, suicide among business owners, corruption and usury, the loss of local industry.

This is the cross which weighs upon the world of labour, the injustice shouldered by workers. Jesus shoulders it himself and teaches us to reject injustice and to learn, with his help, to build bridges of solidarity and of hope, lest we be like sheep who have lost our way amid this crisis.

Let us return, then, to Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls. Let us strive, side by side, to provide work, to overcome our fears and our isolation, to recover a respect for political life and to work to resolve our problems together.

The cross will become lighter if carried with Jesus, and if all of us lift it together, for “by his wounds – which are now windows opening to his heart – we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pet2:24).

 

In every age, man has thought he could take the place of God and determine for himself what is good and what is evil (cf. Gen 3:5) without reference to his Creator and Saviour. He has thought himself omnipotent, capable of excluding God from his own life and from that of his peers, in the name of reason, power or money.

Today too, the world bows to realities that seek to expel God from human life, such as the blind secularism that suffocates the values of faith and morals in the name of an alleged defence of man; or the violent fundamentalism that claims to be defending religious values (cf. Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 29).

 

Prayer: 

Lord Jesus, 
who accepted humiliation 
and stood alongside the weak, 
we entrust to you 
all who are humiliated and suffering, 
especially those from the tormented East. 

Grant that they may find in you 
the strength to be able to carry 
their Cross of hope with you. 

We place into your hands 
all who are lost, 
so that, thanks to you, 
they may find truth and love. 

Amen

 
 
I contemplate the wood of that cross.  I imagine how heavy it is.  I reflect upon all it means that Jesus is carrying it.

I look into his eyes.  It's all there.

This is for me.  So I place myself with him in this journey.  In its anguish.  In his freedom and surrender.  In the love that must fill his heart.

With sorrow and gratitude, I continue the journey.  Moved by the power of his love, I am drawn to him and express my love in the words that come to me.

Jesus, though He was innocent, was falsely accused and unjustly judged. Yet, He trusted in His heavenly Father to rescue Him from the designs of the wicked. Let us imitate Jesus’ faith in God.

Dear Lord, many times in families, parents are misunderstood by children and children are misunderstood by parents. Husbands and wives misjudge each other; siblings falsely accuse each other. When we are falsely accused, dear Lord, give us the strength to bear the injustice with patience as our way of following You, on the way to the cross. We love you, Jesus.

Lord Jesus, in this mirror, in this picture, I see the unfathomable, the unspeakable depth of your love for me. There were none to defend you from the hatred of the world when you stood silently, uttering no abuse and covered in shame. Our shame. Surrendering to the Father, you embraced us in the cruel wood of the Cross — while we surrendered to fear andabandoned you. You watched us flee, even as our sins rushed in upon you. That emblem of ignominy, rough-hewn, sin-saturated and fraught with such torment, you did not push away although a Legion of Angels stood at your call. How the world trembled around you! Angels and men!

You had lost so much blood! How could you have borne it? The way to the height of that sad summit of suffering was a gauntlet of pain and abuse, mockery, derision, and violence to your flesh — and still, still you choose the Cross? Alike, we who fled, and those who stayed — we, who took no violence to our flesh, and they who brought such violence to yours ... alike we bore down upon you as insufferable weight in the Cross. You could have fled, called down your Angels, passed through their midst — but you stayed because of us, as we fled because of you.

And still you stay! — in the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar!

And still we flee you! Fearing violence to our desires through submission to grace; fearing that same guilt by association that would call us, in you, to hold fast to our vows, fleeing the hatred of the world that would rush in upon us as our own sins rushed in upon you.

From afar we watch you stagger as our Cross is thrown upon you. Blinded by spittle and blood, buffeted on every side, you begin to wend your way into our lives. "Greater love hath no man ..." You know that we will come, one day, to understand this and through your example hold fast against the withering hate of this world.

Give me, O, Christ, to become like unto Thee, to take my first steps through that gauntlet of grace that leads me beyond that suffering height ... that I may die for Thee ... as Thou hast died for me!

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

and

Visual Bible Alive

Powered byEMF Form Builder