The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Thursday After Ash Wednesday

Date: 
Thu, 03/02/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

It is possible.  It is possible to follow Jesus.
It is possible to follow Jesus to the cross.
When we are asked by him to take up the cross, we are not being asked to do the impossible.
Difficult?  Yes.  Impossible?  No.
As we begin Lent, we rededicate ourselves, recommit ourselves, to this possibility.
 
Our lives become cluttered and busy.
The world with all its temptations and promises and demands
with its instant gratification, its convenience, its entertainment,
occupies our attention, competes for our limited resources.
And no matter how hard we try to resist being taken in by the world
it imposes itself upon us.
 
Our relationships with others complicate matters.
For even when we choose a life of detachment and prayer,
those we love, those to whom we are connected,
those to whom we wish to stay connected…..sometimes have not.
And if we want to stand by them….this requires us to stand in the world.
We remove ourselves from the swift current of the world but they do not.
And if we want to stay connected to them, we have to get back into the swift current…
the very place we worked so hard to leave behind.
 
Such is the life of Christian discipleship.
And lest we lose heart or our resolve to remain in Christ
we are brought back to home port, so to speak, to regain our bearings.
The cross is our home port. 
It is marked on our foreheads to remind us.
It is marked on our hearts with an indelible, un-erasable character.
It is the beginning of our Christian life through baptism.
It is the end of our Christian life through death.
Underneath all the clutter of our lives is the cross.
 
Now, I hear it said, “God will never give you anything you can’t handle.”
This is usually said to bolster someone’s faith and strength during trial and tribulation.
I find little support and little comfort in this statement.
I do believe our faith is tested but I have a hard time accepting that our burdens find their source in God.
Our burdens come from sin and evil. 
Some of our burdens are the consequence of our own choosing, others the result of human carelessness.
 
Another point:  just because we suffer doesn’t mean we’re carrying a cross.
In my estimation, for something to be the cross referred to by Jesus,
it must be some suffering we endure for the sake of the Gospel.
Jesus says “take up your cross” which implies a free and voluntary choice
and not something that is forced upon us by life’s ordinary circumstances.
 
Jesus took up his cross out of obedience to the Father’s will and out of love for the world.
The cross he bore was a grave injustice…for he was innocent of any crime, of any sin.
If we are to follow his example, then a true cross entails unjust suffering we endure,
suffering caused by the sins of others, suffering we chose to embrace for the sake of a greater good.
 
Our prayer today: “O Lord, through our Lenten journey help us to understand, on  a deeper level, what it means to carry our cross.  Give us the strength, the courage, and the faith to bear the burdens that come with living a truly authentic Christian life.  Amen!”