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Be present at the Passion of Jesus and notice the events and actors.
Who do you identify with?
The vengeful leaders,
the jeering crowds,
the cunning Pilate?
The fearful disciples,
the denying Peter,
the hopeless Judas?
The privileged Simon of Cyrene,
the faithful women who accompanied Jesus to the foot of the cross,
the crucified criminals?
What particular point or event resonates with you
stay there and contemplate the mystery of Christ's Passion that culminates in the cross.
Jesus did not invent the cross. He, like every man, found it on his journey. The newness of his message was to plant a seed of love into our bearing of the cross. The element of love turned the Way of the Cross into a way that leads to life. The cross itself became a message of love; a means of our transformation. Our cross is also the cross of Jesus!
This cross first embraces each of us, and entrusts us with a duty in our personal life, in our families, among our friends and acquaintances - in sum, with whoever else's cross we encounter. I think of the many broken families, the many illnesses which have not been accepted, of hardened hearts which have become embittered, resentful and brooding. How many crosses have been borne up and down in the elevators of our buildings. How many cross-bearers walk up and down our streets, populate our cities!
From his cross, Jesus invites each of us today to put all these crosses, and not just our own, into relationship with our own. Jesus invites us to do as he did - plant the seed of love and hope in the soil of each of the crosses we encounter. Cardinal Martini
For more information about the Moved to Greater Love prayer program, visit http://jesuits.org/greaterlove.