January 18, 2009

No Resurrection Without Crosses

Reposted from Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
photo of a cross
“Cross and Reflection” by Kyle Thompson on Flickr. Released with a CC license.

Easter Sunday was not within three days of the Transfiguration but within three days of Good Friday. Love is not to be measured by the joy and pleasures it gives but by the ability to draw out of sorrow, a resurrection out of a crucifixion, and life out of death. Unless there is a cross in our life, there will never be an empty tomb; unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be a halo of light.
- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The idea boggles the mind actually. Or maybe that’s because as naturally selfish humans we tend to think solely of life’s crosses as hardships and suffering instead of as an opportunity given to us by God for purification.

One of the senior ladies at church once told me she thanked the Lord daily that she was given challenging people to work with. Because daily, she was given an opportunity to be holy, to be a saint, to be an adopted child of God. Of course, daily she also had to struggle to not be irritable, callous, or downright scornful. But that’s the point of the struggle: to combat, and most importantly, with God’s grace, to win against sin. Each victory a resurrection, a resumption and affirmation of life.

Sorrow, long waiting, suffering, trials, loss: the stuff of saints, the refining fire of God.

The point He’s trying to make which we sometimes don’t get: you are always at the right place at the right time. Now, at this moment, in this painful situation, what can you do to show your love for God? If we follow the path laid out for us, the path through dark valleys, we will emerge in the green pastures of Psalm 23, with tables laid out for us in sight of our foes, with the Good Shepherd always with us. With hearts in resurrection mode.


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