I receive many letters over the course of a month. I have to admit most of them are sad. Good people tell me their problems—loss of a job, serious illness, divorce. The list goes on. Inevitably, there’s always a reference to carrying one’s cross.
It seems part of the human condition that at some time in life we will all carry a cross just as Jesus did. But I ask you to remember that even Jesus had someone helping Him carry His cross, and He will help us carry ours.
I do not know what kind of cross you carry now. I do know, that whether it be pain of body or spirit, disappointments, the death of a loved one, the insecurities of youth and the trembling of old age, the cross touches all of us. The cross hangs over all of our lives and with all my years of Theology, I still do not know why.
We all shudder a little when Christ warns us that life can get tough, and that we have to face up to it. None of us likes cross carrying. Yet, there is no human pain that cannot be touched to the cross of Christ. The only thing that can help us carry the crosses that are so much a part of life is our relationship with God. And through this relationship you will love Him because you have touched Him and He has touched you.
The questions of why suffering, why pain, why do bad things happen to good people, those questions will not wear away. Still, we don’t have to be like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Remember them? They were walking away from Jerusalem after Christ’s death, away from the suffering, away from the cross, when the resurrected Christ joined them on the road. They did not recognize Him. They tell Him of all their disappointment and frustration of seeing their Savior crucified. And when He told them they were foolish for leaving, they did not recognize Him—because they had missed the Resurrection.
We need not run away from our problems, pain and suffering. Just as your Gethsemane is His garden, and your Calvary is also His cross, when you carry your cross, He is there, you are touching Him and His love. And through His love you will be sharing in His Resurrection.