March 17, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

I have been reading some of the booklets for the Stations of the Cross. One of these booklets is “Mary’s Way of the Cross.” It looks at Jesus’ Way of the Cross through the eyes of Mary’s perspective.
In the Second Station, the reflection looks at how Mary, looking at Jesus carrying His cross, wanted to take it off His shoulders and bear it herself, to relieve His pain. How often do we do the same for others? We see our spouse suffering, and there’s nothing we can do. We see our children in pain, and there’s nothing we can really do. We feel helpless; we want to do something.
Last weeks suggestion was to “Offer it up.” We would offer our pain and sufferings, so that others may not have to undergo anything. This aspect was what I was expecting the reflection for this station. However, it was the opposite. The reflection for the Second Station reflects:
Lord, Jesus, I beg you to forgive me for the many times I have added more weight to your cross by closing my eyes to the pain and loneliness of my neighbor. Forgive me for gossiping about others and for always trying to find excuses to avoid certain people who wish to talk with me. Help me to be like Mary, always seeking to lighten the crosses of others. Forgive me, Jesus.
Instead of carrying our cross, how often do we try to lighten the load? How often do we try to get rid of our crosses because they are too much of a burden? We bypass the needs of others because that would cause us to help. We give ourselves the excuse “There’s nothing I can do to relieve that person’s pain, so why think about it?”.
If we feel the weight of the cross in our pockets, how can we take the burdens of others off their shoulders? If we aren’t willing to carry our own cross, how can we carry the cross of others? If we are not willing to carry our own cross, how can we be a disciple of the Lord?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

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