…Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-4)
As each day passes I hear of more and more people of faith being asked to carry heavy crosses. I believe this cross-ifying will intensify as the Year of Mercy draws to a close. What is the connection?
I believe there is a far deeper significance to this jubilee year than we can even imagine. What an extraordinary grace this year has been for us and for those we are praying for. Jesus told St. Faustina:
“Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy.” (Diary 1588)
“He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice.” (Diary 1146).
Jesus speaks of the “door of mercy” and as providence would have it, we have been gifted with holy doors in this Year of Mercy. This is an unimaginable grace. But why are we surprised? Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. The level of sin has caused the God of all mercy to shower unimaginable graces upon us. All glory to God, through whom even sin brings about His victory!
There are scant few weeks left in the Year of Mercy, which concludes on November 20, Feast of Christ the King. If you have been asked to carry a heavy cross in the Year of Mercy, you, chosen soldier of Christ, have been given a field promotion, and have been equipped with a weapon that is tailor-made. For the battle is upon us. Souls are at stake.
Of course, in the battle for souls, God’s secret weapon is and always has been the cross. Archbishop Sheen described it in this way:
“Never ask what did I do to deserve this? Because Jesus may say to you what did I do to deserve the Cross? If God the Father permitted His Divine Son to feel the agonies of Calvary, it must be that Crosses fit into the Divine Plan. If your cross is mental, change your behavior, confess your sins, and make peace with God. If your cross is physical, offer it up in union with Our Lord on the Cross for the conversion of souls. There is a price tag on every soul. Every soul costs something. Some souls are bought by prayers; others are bought through the kindness of alms; but most of them are bought the way Our Lord bought us, through pain and suffering.”
In this Jubilee of Mercy, God is calling all those who bear his name to take up the arms he himself took up, the precious wood with which he conquered sin and death. This is our hour of decision. Our victory is assured, but make no mistake, there can be no resurrection without a crucifixion.
Several times a day we make the sign of the cross, touching our heads to show our belief in the Cross, our breast to show our love of the Cross, and our shoulders to show our willingness to bear the Cross. So, when Christ asks us to carry a cross, let us respond with complete abandonment and trust in the way of the cross which that holy sign signifies.
And let us not forget the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the Hour of Mercy, 3:00, am or pm. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary 1731)
The Year of Mercy is the jubilee year of miracles and hope. Let’s not waste another minute of it but as soldiers completely abandoned to our General, carry our crosses with Christ, for souls, in the glory of God! Jesus I trust in you! Save souls!