What is My Cross?
Have you ever seen the movie "A Knight's Tale"? The key focus of this movie is that anyone, no matter your status in life, can change their stars. It just takes a little faith and a bit of effort. The main character was from a simple, lower-class family and he is sent off to work with a knight as a stableboy. He does this for years, and when the knight dies, secretly takes his place. Even through the deceit, in the end, he becomes a knight, and is proud of who he is and where he was from. Anyone can change their stars. This is a way to visualize Jesus' life. He was the son of a carpenter, and their status was simple and quiet. It was odd for any simple-folk to cause a disturbance. However, when the time came that God called Jesus to rise and take his cross and reveal himself to the world, his stars change. He becomes a light for the entire world.
Today's Gospel states: 'And coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief' (Matthew 13:54-58).
If anyone can change their stars, if anyone can rise up and have an impact in the world, what does that mean for us? Are we to rise above our fears and simple way of living, like Jesus did, and take up our own cross, as God calls us to do? I'm sure it was not easy for Jesus to step out of his comfortable way of living at 30 years old. However, when God called him, Jesus was ready and accepting of his burden. Look how much good he did, he changed the world and showed everyone the true power of love and faith. Let us take time today to ask God to help us with our cross, to help us bear it and be the better for doing so, and make an impact on our world.
Today's prayer comes from 'Mother of God' a prayer for carrying your cross:
O my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry. Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to your name while withstanding the burden of its weight. Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering. I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be, at my side every step of the way. Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross. I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed, but I trust that your grace is sufficient. Change my heart's troubled cry of --"How long, O Lord", into words of trust: "However long, O Lord". May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion. Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials a way to greater virtue, a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone. Permit me not to waste my pain, but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others. Lord, when I am weary and I fall, exhausted under the weight of this cross, please give me the courage to press on as you did. Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross, as a share in your own. By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory. I abandon myself totally to your will. Christ Jesus, I trust in you. Amen