Eyes on the Cross
The threats and attacks we see the Church facing from all directions make us realize that strength is needed to successfully endure these trials.
Nonetheless, how strength is displayed is of critical importance, as we can inadvertently contribute to the very thing we wish to eradicate. Some may feel that fidelity to the Church must always be demonstrated by militancy, by visible (and audible) resistance, finding fault with everything and being quick to accuse those of laxity who fail to display the same supposed rigor.
The harsh realities of what our Lord endured for our salvation and the role we have all played in them come to mind.
The Crucifixion is what happens when the best that God has to offer collides head-on with the worst of man. What our Lord said in word had to be tried under the worst possible conditions.
So when His hour had come, Christ went to the Cross willingly, intent on fulfilling the will of His Heavenly Father. By doing so, He validated everything He said and did and set the standard for belief in Him: If any man will come after Me, let Him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matt. 16:24)
Yet what may particularly strike us is the manner in which Christ met His Death. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so He not opens his mouth (Acts 8:32).
But this happens after Christ first went out to meet the mob in Gethsemane, indicating that it was He who lays down His life: no one takes it from Him.
His total self-control and composure throughout the mock-trials and interrogations, answering only when necessary or speaking only when it was for the benefit of another soul, teaches us how to suffer well and in a way that yields the best results, although this may not be immediately apparent. Christ’s calm and unwavering insistence on the truth of who He is and what He came for would confound His enemies, evidenced by their screaming for Him to get down from the Cross right up to the last moment of His life.
Nothing exposes the hypocrisy of evil like the consistency of good.
And so while many of us may feel like there is little we can do about the trials plaguing our Lord’s holy Church, drawing courage from His example, our own unwavering commitment to truth, combined with patience and willingness to suffer for what we must believe, will contribute to the exposure of the evils as they are and bring about the resurrection of good, rewarded by Christ Himself raising those up who carried their crosses behind Him.
September 2, 2020