18 March 2012

Rejoice, Jerusalem

J.M.J.

A Message for Laetare Sunday 2012

Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad and go into the house of the Lord. The light at the end of the tunnel is seen this Sunday as we focus on the coming joy of the Resurrection. This joyous day gives us a reminder of what we may receive. It is a ray of hope. It is a foreshadowing of the Paschal mysteries to come. Yet, before the Resurrection, Christ went up to Jerusalem. He went up to the house of the Lord. He went to suffer, to be reviled, to be tormented, hated by Israel, and to be crucified for us all. Follow his Passion came the Resurrection and the glorious ascension into heaven. Truly, though, there is no Resurrection without the Passion of Christ. There is no salvation without suffering. There is no remission of sin without the Precious Blood of Christ. Yet, we cannot partake of the joys of salvation without taking up our own cross and following Christ in our daily lives. Not only must we offer ourselves with Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but also bear our cross in all that we do. We cannot compartmentalize our lives, relegating spirituality to Sundays or even perhaps a blessing at a meal. If Christ is not at the heart of all that we do, then we are guilty of laying down our crosses. In the final stages of Lent, let us strengthen our spirits in courageously taking up our cross, joining in the sacrifice of Christ, and in so doing, bear witness to the world of the power of our Lord and Savior.