This is it. The journey of Lent has come to this. The Cross. I thought I was carrying a cross the whole of Lent, but my sacrifices were just training. I’ve been drinking only water during Lent, forgoing a morning cup of coffee and a glass of wine in the evening. Mere luxuries, but difficult to let go of. Even this morning, I miss the aroma and flavor of a morning cup. Giving up at Lent is training for taking up the cross set in front of me. The cross in front of me is my opportunity to love.
Maundy Thursday–I told the kids I didn’t know what “Maundy” meant so Brianna, my 17 year old daughter, looked it up on our way to the Holy Thursday mass. Maundy means mandate or command, which begged the question, what did Jesus command durning the Last supper? The answer came in the Antiphon to the Gospel.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
I have long considered myself a disciple, but I understand more than ever that the cost of discipleship is love and the cross. It’s a cross that I’ve hewn for myself, out of my stubbornness and self interest; this cross is loving others in my life who I’ve neglected or put off or taken for granted. My lenten training denying myself with the Lord’s help has strengthened me to be able to pick up this cross. It’s now it’s a way that I can walk with Jesus, where we can come close together. What a blessisng. This cross. This walk.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Today I choose to “pick up my cross and follow” Jesus.
Jesus chooses to come near me when I choose to be his disciple. His student. And what does Jesus teach me today? To face the troubles face on. To take the blows. To trust the outcome isn’t death but life. Jesus I trust in you. Let’s do this.