Grace Through the Light of the Cross

"For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." - 1 Corinthians 1:21-25

Prayer: Lord, may I always see that Your grace pours out to me through the radiant light of the cross. May whatever is in my heart not fear to approach You in this great mystery, that I may be set free from that which You came to suffer and set me free of, namely sin and death. Amen.

Grace Through the Light of the Cross

The Passion of Jesus hopefully awakens and stirs our hearts to faith and belief in God and His Son Jesus, Christ. When we look to the passion of Jesus, we see His humility and meekness, meaning His poise and strength. Jesus knows what will happen and Jesus freely enters into this passion knowing that it is through this that He will establish the New and Everlasting Covenant and carve out the path for us to be free from sin and death.

In the passion we witness Jesus's freedom as He is the one calling the shots. Jesus knows where the colt is and what words to say in order to receive that colt. Then again Jesus knows what to look for and say to find the place for the Upper room where He will institute the New Covenant, look for the man carrying the water jar, follow him and say to the master of the household...." Jesus continues demonstrating His freedom in saying, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." Saying to all the disciples, "All of you will have your faith shaken." Saying to Peter, "Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times. And again, when he says, "The hour has come. Behold, the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners. Get up, let us go. See, my betrayer is at hand."

In all this we see that Jesus freely and willingly entered into His passion. His purpose is to set us free from sin and death, and to reveal the depth of His love for us. That no matter how great our sins, His love is great enough that He would die for us.

In seeing the passion, my hope is that we recognize the deep effects of sin in us. That is dims our mind and darkness our hearts. The full effect of sin is on display in the lives of the disciples, chief priests, scribes, pharisees, guards, Pilot, and the crowd. We bear witness to Jesus being betrayed, rejected, abandoned, denied, beaten, mocked, spit upon, cursed. Hopefully when we witness this passion, we recognize the presence of these effects of sin in us, because if we want to be set free of these effects of sin then we have to seek out the light of the cross. To be drawn to the cross and united with Jesus. It is only through the light of the cross that we receive the graces that we need to be set free. Our union with Jesus in carrying the cross and being crucified with Him is the only path to being set free from sin and receiving the grace of God. This is the truth of our baptisms; in baptism we are united to Christ and we die with Him. In dying with Jesus, we receive the grace to be washed free of the guilt of original sin, and it is through the cross that we receive the graces of all the other sacraments.

My hope is that it is our desire to be set free from sin, that we want to live the life of grace rather than continue to be malformed by sin. The path to grace and being purified, set free from sin, is that path carved out for us by Jesus in the light of the cross. The light of the cross draws us to Jesus. It is in seeking this light that we are united with Him and made to be like Him. This is why Jesus tells His followers, "If you want to be my disciple, take up your cross daily, and follow me." When take up the cross and desire to be united with Jesus, we will encounter His light with us as we embrace the cross.

The cross of Christ is our only hope. The light of the cross is what gives us grace and unites us to Jesus, setting us free from sin and its effects on us.

May God richly bless you!

-Fr. Jeremy


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