“You are my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.
My soul clings fast to you;
your right hand upholds me.”
By Sister Joseph Fennimore, OSB
The meaning of the symbolism of the cross is very well known by Christians. It is a sign of Christ, what he has gone through and achieved for us. It also reminds us of what we are to do in order to be part of his victorious kingdom.
In today’s gospel, Jesus accepted the cross as he turned his steps toward Jerusalem. It was a cross of ridicule, and of suffering and death by the hands of the Jewish religious leaders. However, it would end as a sign of victory with his resurrection. Jesus was firm and determined in his acceptance and embrace of the cross. When Peter objected to the words and actions of Jesus, Jesus rebuked him with very strong words. The journey to the cross was resolutely accepted by Jesus Christ.
Jesus goes on to teach us that the cross and what it symbolizes are to be part of our lives. If we are to be his followers, we must accept and embrace the ups and downs, the struggles, and the difficulties the Father asks of us. In doing so we will find life and gain heaven.
The commitment to accepting and taking up the cross has to be renewed often, daily. We get tired of dealing and struggling with the hard spots of life. But with some rest, some renewal of resolution, and most importantly, with divine help we find we can move on. We are never alone with the carrying of our crosses but are constantly helped by God’s Spirit. Let us be at the side of Jesus in this journey, not behind as Peter might have been.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“Never swerving from his instructions, then, but faithfully observing his teaching in the monastery until death, we shall through patience share in the sufferings of Christ that we may deserve also to share his kingdom. Amen.” Rule of Benedict, Prologue Vs. 50
“May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call.” See Eph. 1:17-18