Take your cross and follow me

As a mother of six, most days I wake up in the morning to the sweet noise of hormonal awakenings which quickly escalate to what sounds like strangled cats and ninja style interactions.  In those moments of chaos that ensues at daily school drop off hour, the pressures of unmet societal expectations of being a perfect dutiful mother and wife can somewhat infiltrate my thoughts and feel unbearably crushing at times.  Though, as I gaze into my children’s beautiful faces in those challenging moments, I’m constantly reminded of the joy that had befallen me in my chosen vocation as a married woman and their impending arrival into the world.  The promise of life filled with the hope that they will first and foremost realise how they are the beauty of God’s creation and how my vocation was a part of God’s magnificent design.  This has left me pondering how are our children and young people adapting to taking up their crosses during this COVID-19 climate? 

As long as we live in an imperfect world, crosses are therefore a part of humanity. The Cross of Jesus is the foundation upon which Christianity was built.  So, there is no cross-less Christianity. In today’s Gospel reading Jesus invites us to, “Take your cross and follow me.” There’s no better and important time to be reminded of these reassuring words than this period of COVID-19. We need to actively hear and live this again and again.  In the midst of all this, we hear the gentle whispers of Jesus’ voice who always looks into our eyes, with His eyes of mercy and infinite love, saying, “Take your cross and follow me.”

Denial of self is part of this cross Jesus is teaching us and is integral to our relationships with Jesus and one another.  A relationship without denial of self becomes fruitless.  As a mother and wife, I draw on Jesus’ strength to show me how to embody the spirit of denying oneself in order to bear fruits in my vocation.

The passion of Jesus gives us faith, courage, strength and hope to face our own sufferings. The suffering of Jesus is a statement that we are not alone in our suffering and that through His wounds we shall receive healing.

As Christians we are designed to accompany each other on our faith journey.  By carrying our cross and following Jesus, we are united in our sufferings to that of Jesus, and we are assured that our “yoke will be easy and our burden light.” How are we being co-responsible in bearing the weight of our neighbours crosses in our vocations, homes, parish and wider communities during COVID-19?  Through the eyes of my children, they have gravitated towards their faith and desire to offer morning and evening prayers which has given great solace to them and in turn inspired me to journey and endure these unpredictable times. 

The passion of Jesus gives us faith, courage, strength and hope to face our own sufferings. The suffering of Jesus is a statement that we are not alone in our suffering and that through His wounds we shall receive healing.

May the grace of God sanctify and sustain you on your journey to the kingdom.  May we turn to each other in prayer united in our joint mission in attaining eternal salvation together, how God intended it to be.

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