Andrea Mantegna, c. 1459
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Halleluiah!
On this day that Jesus burst forth from the tomb, conquering sin and death, it is important to comprehend and appreciate what He has done for us by dying on the cross. Let us begin with prayer:
Lord, help me to understand the cross. Help me to comprehend all that Christ has done for me in dying for the forgiveness of my sins. Lord, give me grateful awe as I ponder the mystery of the cross. Give me the grace to respond to your generosity by giving you my all, my very life, for your love and mercy are beyond compare. I ask this through Christ Jesus, Amen.
To begin to understand Christ’s willingness to suffer and die for you, imagine heaven. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are looking at you with unimaginable love. They are discussing your life, how you have sold yourself into sin and slavery. They see you lost and without hope, heading to eternal destruction. The Father speaks, “Who will bring him back?” The eternal Son of God, robed in majesty and splendor, immediately responds, “I will go.” The Holy Spirit realizes what this will cost. God’s magnificent plan for your salvation is set into motion. The Son leaves heaven to be nailed to a cross…for you!
But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Jesus has modeled the true path to joy and happiness: Obedience to the Father in self-giving love. As you ponder the events of the Triduum, ask God to give you the eyes to see His boundless generosity, love, and mercy. He does not withhold anything from you. He gave His very life so that you may be saved and have eternal life.
Make me to know thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Psalm 25:4
There are many voices in the world clamoring for your attention and promising happiness. Our culture worships the unholy trinity of self-gratification: Me, Myself and I. The only path to joy and happiness is to follow the way of the cross. Compare the way of the world with the way of the cross:
The Path to Joy and Happiness
The Way of the World
The Way of the Cross
|Grab all you can get||Unbounded generosity|
|Revenge||Forgiveness and mercy|
|Self-Determination||Cooperation with God’s Plan|
|Entitlement||Everything is a Gift from God|
|Hate your enemy||Love your neighbor and your enemy|
Operates from a place of scarcity
|Operates from God’s abundance|
The Holy Trinity invites you to share in their eternal exchange of love, to live a life of generous self-sacrifice. It is in the total giving of yourself that you will know the peace and joy that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
What road will you take?
The world takes the low road, the easy way, the road of selfish pursuits. The high road is the way of the cross. It leads to Calvary. It is only in total self-giving – as Christ has done for you on the cross – that true joy and happiness is found. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6). “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). Unite your all your cares, concerns, and even your suffering, to the cross of Christ. He is with you in the midst of trials, temptations, and failures. He loves you in spite of your mistakes and came to make you whole in body, mind, and spirit.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 25:10
All of the disorder in our world; the sin, selfishness, broken promises and hurting families are offered up on the cross and defeated. The cross, a sign of contradiction, becomes our symbol of hope. Sin and death and Satan are defeated. This broken world is not the end because the victory of Christ’s love triumphs over all. The cross is our greatest hope. Discern well the road you will take.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you…I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow….Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take…I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people…I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:3, 13, 21, 33, 34 (emphasis added)
Wishing you a very blessed and joyful Easter,
Dennis & Rose