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Tuesday, 12 April 2022 19:41

Tuesday of Holy Week - The Cross of Love

 Tuesday of Holy Week image

This Lent, the MGL Sisters have had a unique opportunity to prayerfully contemplate the crucified Jesus, which was something that we began exploring in our recent Chapter. The Cross is the pivotal point of our faith in Jesus. While gazing at the one who died for us, Jesus shines his Easter light into our suffering and meets us there. The Cross for us is one of the most intimate places we can meet Jesus. Here, alone, broken, disillusioned and in pain, searching for answers, vulnerable and honest with ourselves, Jesus can begin to speak the truth of his perfect love into our lives. It is in this place, where our pain and the unconditional love of Jesus meet, that our lives can begin to be healed and transformed.

The Cross is not always easy to understand. I have wondered what sense Mary made of it as she watched her son take his last breath. It is not easy watching our loved ones suffer. At these times our first response can often be to question the presence and intentions of God. This is true for me. When my mum announced to the family that she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis the family was devastated. I was surprised at how calm she was. In a quiet moment alone with her, I asked her how she really was. She looked at me peacefully and said, “I am good really, this is my cross, we all have crosses in life, this is mine.”

The way my mum embraced her cross was a beautiful witness to me of Jesus’ transformative love. Just as my mum accepted the Cross in her life, (and like Mary before the crucifixion finding the strength to stay with Jesus in his suffering during his final hour) I too have found hope in bringing my suffering to Jesus on the cross during the darkest points of my life. Two years after the heart-breaking death of my mum and brother I had become distant from God and angry with him for these losses in my life. One day while I was waiting in the confessional line, unable to pray, I could not stop starring at the huge crucifix behind the altar, when I was profoundly struck by an overwhelming sense of love and acceptance. It was as if the nails had disappeared, and Jesus had his arms out ready to embrace me and was saying “Come back to me.”

I invite you to respond to Jesus’ invitation to “come back to me,” just as we are, trusting that he who knows our suffering and desires to bring healing to the areas of our lives where we need him the most. As we rest in Jesus’ presence at the Cross, we can trust that he will renew our lives.

Therese Mills