making and being the sign of the cross
"The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put Him to death." —Mark 9:31
The Lord's favorite subject is the cross. However, we naturally don't understand His message of the cross (Mk 9:32). Moreover, we are afraid of the cross (Mk 9:32). Therefore, we don't want to understand Jesus regarding the cross. We will not even question Him about it (Mk 9:32) but merely talk about something else — like ourselves. However, Jesus will question us if we won't question Him. He'll ask us: "What were you discussing on the way home?" (Mk 9:33) We may fall silent because we are ashamed of ourselves and our preoccupation with ourselves (see Mk 9:34). This shame and guilt can be the beginning of our repentance, of the restoration of our communication with Jesus, and of our acceptance of the way of the cross.
I invite you to look at a crucifix or a picture of Jesus on the cross for at least one minute a day for nine days. God will give you the grace to speak of nothing but the cross (1 Cor 2:2) and boast of nothing but the cross (Gal 6:14). You will find joy (see Col 1:24) in carrying the crosses of being persecuted, giving forgiveness, doing penance, making sacrifices, fasting, serving, loving enemies, choosing poverty, making commitments, and loving your vocation. Fix your eyes on Christ crucified.
Prayer: Father, in this year of the Great Jubilee, make my life a "sign of the cross."
Promise: "Let us condemn Him to a shameful death; for according to His own words, God will take care of Him." —Wis 2:20
Praise: Praise Jesus, condemned "to a shameful death" (Wis 2:20), Who rose again in glory!
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, March 8, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 9, 2000