What is the sign of Christianity? The Cross. As the Star of David is the sign of the Jews, the Cross is the sign of all Christians. We are known as the religion of the Cross. Today, the Lord reminds us again of that reality, that the Cross and Christianity must always go together.
How do we know the crosses of life? For most of us, our general understanding is: when it is painful, when it is heavy, when it causes us suffering, we call that a cross. Is that correct?
Well, let me clarify. The cross and suffering do not make a Christian. The most important component of the Cross is not that it causes pain, not that it causes suffering. The most important component of the Cross is that it gives life to others. When our sufferings do not give life to others, that is not the Cross of Christ. That is our own foolishness. When our pains do not bring life to others, that is not the Cross of Christ because the Cross of Christ always gives life. The Cross of Christ always leads to the resurrection.
When we refer to the cross only as pain, when we refer to the cross only as suffering, when we refer to the cross only as problems, that is the pagan understanding of the cross. The cross, for it to be a Christian Cross, must give life to others. In other words, every time we live life, even if there is no pain, it is a cross. Every time we are instruments of life, a consolation and hope for other people, even if it does not cause us to suffer, even if it does not entail that much sacrifice, all that may be called a cross. The Cross is a blessing. The Cross is life. That is what Christ teaches us today.
When the Lord tells us today in the Gospel, “Carry your crosses daily and follow me,” what He means is not only for us to carry our pains and sufferings daily. What He means is we must give life to others all the time. That is the way to follow me. Give consolation and hope to other people all the time. That is the way to follow me. Every time we make the sign of the cross, we are blessed. Every time we make the sign of the cross, we enter into life. Every time we make the sign of the cross on ourselves, we celebrate life. So, what pain, what suffering, what problem are we talking about when we think about the Cross?
The most important component of the Cross is love and life.
CROSS AND LIFE
Love Like Jesus