Reflections - September 4, 2016

“……Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”  Lk. 14:27.

A few days ago I saw a car with a sign that said:  “Stop suffering”.  The following week I was at a bookstore in the city and there were several people leafing through a book that more or less said:  “The best is yet to come…”.  In this atmosphere of “positivism” that glorifies people’s egos I’m thinking if these messages that these “gurus” give of triumph and having a good time is real.  Or on the contrary it is the rather unreal world of amusement parks and fantasy, which are not bad for children, but are not real for a Christian with adult faith.

There are two proposals of Jesus in today’s Gospel:  to follow Him and carry the cross.  I feel that to follow Him many want to use logic.  Brother and sisters, logic in following of the Lord sometimes does not work.  I ask myself what logic is there when a single Christian mother sacrifices herself for her disabled child.  Also for a young woman to leave her career that offers great economic benefits to serve the poor and marginalized as a religious person.  Do you know why they do it?  Because the center of their life is Christ, as a song says taken from a letter of Paul:  “For me life is Christ”, then it does make sense to follow Him and carry the cross.  We sometimes give much importance “to feeling and extroversion”, yet if there is no love in the following and surrender of oneself you can’t follow the Lord.  Remember:  Based on the place the Lord occupies in your life that will be your surrender at home and in the community.

In the lives of the saints there were three spiritual supports that helped them integrate Christ in their lives and carry the cross everyday.  They were faith, hope, and charity.

In the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta there were moments in which she did not feel that profound spiritual intimacy with the Lord, however, she never ceased to pray to Jesus, the center of her life, strengthening her faith, hope and charity to live a heroic life, “carrying the cross of the poor, the sick, and the marginalized of the society in which she lived.  Mother Teresa left her footprints of charity in this world because for her:  “life was Christ”.  Perhaps you and I could ask ourselves:  What footprints do we leave in our daily life?  It would be very said if some would say:  “no one has left any footprints here”.

Our priority is Christ and our example comes from the Virgin Mary.

This 8th of September we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Charity, Patroness of Cuba.  When the angel announced that she would be the mother of the Son of God she did not put any conditions and only said:  “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word”.  She gave us an example of how to serve by living  the faith, the hope and charity together with her Son all the way to the Redeeming Cross.  Let us pray to Mary, the Mother of Christ, for the Church and for the salvation of our families and especially for strength to carry the cross of each day with joy.  “My spirit rejoices in God my savior.”  Lk. 1:47.