Bad things happen to good people!
Jesus goes to Jerusalem knowing that the chief priests and scribes will be waiting to arrest him, to condemn him to death and to hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified.
And Jesus knows his disciples will also suffer. He forewarns them that if they want to share in his kingdom they must be ready to suffer with him and "to drink the chalice that I am going to drink."
So then what is the Good News of the Gospel? It is not that bad things never happen to good people! The Goods News of the Gospel is that no matter what challenges, sufferings and crosses life presents us, nothing can separate us from God's love. God's power remains with us strengthening us and transforming us through our sufferings to be more fully Christ for our world.
And every year life presents us with different challenges to living our baptismal vocations. They may come from our jobs, our families, our relationships, our church, our personal health. These challenges are our crosses for they have the power to impede us from living God's will fully in our lives.
Sadly many of us allow our crosses to embitter us, to threaten our faith and trust in God and to diminish our service to others.
Lent is the time for reviewing our lives and asking whether we have accepted, yes even embraced, our new crosses. Are we allowing them to transform us,making us more like Jesus in loving our Father and serving our neighbor?
Life is not fair; bad things happen to good people. This Lent let's name our new crosses and beg for the grace to embrace them in faith and be transformed by them -- just like Jesus and his apostles.
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