Trust in Him

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bearing Another's Burden

Through His Cross, Jesus bore the great burden for our salvation. He took upon Himself the weight of all mankind's guilt, and offered Himself to God as a perfect oblation in payment to the Heavenly Justice. By the merit of His perfect innocence and obedient following of the Father's will, Jesus redeemed all people. Only God Himself was great enough to bear this burden, and yet, retribution must be made by Man. Therefore, Christ suffered the supreme suffering as a man, and, because His Blood was spilled for our sake, we are called His brothers, children of God, and are precious in the Father's eyes.

If Christ has redeemed us, why does suffering remain, and why must we repent for our sins? Jesus told us that the path to heaven is a narrow path, and that many will go astray from this path and fall into the eternal fires. He has opened the gates of Heaven, He has reconciled us with the Father, but He cannot make us go through the gates. Jesus longs to bring all of us to His divine heart, even the greatest sinner, and He knows that if evil remains in our hearts we can never come into the presence of God. But so many of us sin without really thinking, and are sorry for it later. Jesus has provided a remedy for these failings, and, by merit of God's Divine Mercy, calls us to profound repentance and intention never to stray again, and forgives our sins. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation He imparts to us the grace of cleanliness and strength to never sin again. Then, knowing that we are ill from the disease of sin which has ravaged through us, offers us the therapy of penance and invites us to show our renewed love by taking up His Cross.

But suffering remains in the world, and people continue to fall daily away from God. Because Jesus loves every person, and has such a great desire to bring all people to heaven, those who love Him cannot help but share His longing for the salvation of souls, and the end to suffering. What can we do? We strive for holiness in our own lives, we love Jesus and willingly take up His cross, but is life worth living if we can only find heaven for ourselves? Is life worth living if we can only bring Jesus pleasure by saving our own, empty selves? Jesus, who loved with His every breath and to the last drop of His blood, pities this feeling within us. He knows that we are too weak to do much on our own, and promises that no matter what we offer Him, no matter how small or imperfect it is, if we offer it with the merits of His Great Sacrifice, He will bless others for our sake.

Saint Paul teaching us that the Church is one Body, and that we are its members. Every part of the Body affects the whole, and in this way our every action effects all people in the Church, and all people in the world. By seeking holiness for ourselves, and giving all we do for the sake of the Body, we can spread health throughout the earth. Just as the health of a finger has a great affect on us, so we, no matter how small, affect the Church by our personal sanctity. Jesus calls us to a great task. There will always be pain, guilt, and sorrow as long as we live on earth, and Jesus calls us to have compassion and to accept, not only our own burden, but His burden which is the weight of the world. Christ's Sacrifice is central to the saving life-blood of the Church, and He asks us to unite our sacrifice with His so that it may course throughout the world in union with His and thus be of infinite value for the salvation of souls. He is not selfish, and does not condemn us to paralyzing helplessness, but promises great rewards for many if only we show our love for Him.

Let us then pray for those who will not pray, suffer so that others need not suffer, be holy so that through our holiness Christ may bless others, willingly bear temptation and doubt so that others will be spared and thus find Christ, and offer ourselves with Christ as willing oblations of love. While evil remains in our imperfect hearts, while we live on this earth, only suffering can bring us nearer to Christ. If we are to be inflamed with love of Christ, we must first bear the heat. If we are eager to show our love for Him, will we leave Him alone on the Cross? No, we will seek Him there are pass through the tests and suffering that lead to Calvary. And, when we reach Him there, we will follow Him to the tomb, die with Him, and find life in Him. Yes, we will reach a love surpassing all suffering, a love that raises us to life, and He will dry our tears and bring us to the halls of Eternity. He will take our hand, and we who have suffered will be shown our inheritance.

Dear Jesus, I love You and offer myself to You as a sacrifice for the world. I choose, with all my heart, to take up Your Cross for Your sake and for the sake of others, for I cannot help but love You and all whom You love. My every energy is spent in order to bring souls to You, for "
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God, and I long to worship You." I will come to You bearing gifts, and You will give them to Your children with the greatest blessings for love of me.

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