In the still of the morning, my mind wanders to the path you walked.
What did you feel when you were condemned to death? Were tears welling up in your eyes for the love you felt for me as I placed my own sins on the cross that you would carry?
When you picked up your cross, did the thought of me cross your mind as you knew you were offering yourself up for me?
Each time you fell from exhaustion of carrying your cross, burdened with the weight of the world, did your heart ache?
When you saw your mother Mary, did sorrow fill your wounded body?
When God sent Simon of Cyrene to companion this journey with you, lifting the weight of the cross from your body, did you feel His overwhelming love and the power of His Will within you?
When Veronica wiped your face, did you feel her kind heart?
With each swing of the mallet when they nailed you to the cross you were carrying, did you feel the sting of each of my sins that you carried along your journey?
This journey I travel through life has a familiarity. Every corner I turn on my path is strewed with crosses. Some of these come with great pain and suffering that seems unbearable as I try to carry it alone. Yet some seem light and airy.
You carried one big cross for many and I carry many small crosses. When I feel burdened with the weight of my cross, you tell me I’m not alone and you send me a companion to aid me in carrying that cross. Along my path, our Blessed Mother meets me and comforts my sorrowful body with her gentleness. You send many Veronica’s to show kindness to me, lifting my head and wiping my tears.
It is in these crosses I pick up and carry along my journey, that I meet you. I meet you in those around me, the companions you send. I meet you in the pain, suffering, love and mercy. I embrace you when I trust in your presence within me as you lift the burdens of the cross. It is these crosses that become light and airy. And it is in these crosses that I find true joy, love and forgiveness.
Have you felt a familiarity with Jesus’ passion? Do you see the similarities of your crosses in life. Do you recognize the Simon’s of Cyrene He sends to help you carry your crosses? Do you recognize the Veronica’s that show kindness lifting your spirits? Do you feel the gentle embrace of the Blessed Mother comforting you? Although Jesus endured much more pain and suffering than we may ever endure, our journeys are similar to His when we carry our crosses. It is in our crosses that we empathize with Jesus’ passion, that we feel close to Him, where we meet Him more intimately.
As Holy Week approaches, I invite you to look at your crosses in your journey – where you were sent a companion, or a kind person, or an embrace of comfort. Truly feel the passion of Jesus through your own crosses, your own pain and suffering and thank Him for laying these crosses before you.
May God keep you and bless you this Easter season.