The Second Sunday of Lent [C]
Gen 15:5-12,17-18 + Phil 3:14—4:1 + Lk 9:28-36
February 21, 2016
“‘This is my chosen Son; listen to him.’”
Many of those who spent time with Jesus during the three years of His public ministry never figured out what Jesus was saying through His preaching. These disciples had very different ideas of what Jesus was trying to accomplish on this earth. They all knew He was someone important and powerful. They all knew, to use a modern phrase, that He was someone who was “headed places”. But what those places were they didn’t agree on.
When Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, most of His disciples took the Cross as a sign of Jesus’ failure. He was a failure as a preacher, a failure as a religious organizer, and—frankly—He was to them a failure as a human being. Calvary isn’t a place to which you want to be headed, as the world tells it. Unfortunately for the world, the only Way to Heaven is via Calvary.
So ask yourself: what is it that actually makes a human life either a success or a failure? And for this Second Sunday of Lent reflect on these questions: Do you bear a cross in life? Is this cross one that you bear because you are a Christian? In other words, if you were not a follower of Jesus, would you be free to put down this cross? Are you tempted to lay down your cross, and walk on another path through life?
Jesus calls you not to measure your life in worldly terms. The vocations of many Christians lead through the world. Within the world, Christians are called to carry out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. But the world is not the measure of our lives, either here in this world, or after death to this world.
The Cross is the measure of all human life. In the light of this truth, and in the light of all the crosses you bear because you are a Christian, recognize that there is, in fact, only one Cross. You are not, in fact, so much a follower of Jesus, as you are a Christian living within Jesus. You live within Him as a member of His Mystical Body. And any cross that you bear because of Him, is a share in Jesus’ Cross, the one true Cross: the Cross of Truth.
Do not measure your life as successful in terms of wealth, power and pleasure. Measure the success of your life only according to the willingness—that is to say, the love—with which you bear your share in the Cross of Jesus Christ.