Reflections from the Cross
Jesus spoke to St John from the cross. He said: “Son, behold your mother”. He gave John the instructions John needed to serve. I believe that Jesus also speaks to each one of us. These whispers from the cross come directly into our hearts, instructing us and consoling us.
There is another kind of whisper that we experience and I want to talk about that for a moment. These other whispers come from hell and they communicate a different message.
“You’re not good enough”. “There’s no God and if there was, He wouldn’t want you in your condition”. “You are not important in the plan and your service doesn’t matter”.
Conversely, the enemy also tries to obstruct our holiness another way.
“You are holier than everybody”. “You are the best”. Nobody is as holy as you are”. “You are superior”.
This is even worse, of course, because if we believe that we are superior, we will turn people away from Jesus. If we communicate a message of “I’m more important”, what we are actually saying is, “You are not as important”. That is not the message that Christians are called to communicate and it is not the truth”.
We must learn to distinguish between whispers from hell and whispers from heaven.
Now, what is the other thing that attacks our service in addition to the enemy’s whispers? Our distractions. The obvious things include greed, materialism, sexual sins, power and a desire for power, a constant need to be entertained, determination to hang on to past wounds, not to forgive those who hurt us. Those are some of the distractions that can prevent us from complete service.
Now, as far as the whispers from heaven, what is the Lord saying to us? What is the Lord saying to us from the cross? He is saying: “Thank you”. “I’m grateful”. “I need you so much”. “You are making a difference”. “You are helping”. “I’m pleased with you”. “The world is benefiting from your decision to say ‘yes’ to Me, even if you don’t see another person all day long”.
Those are the whispers from Christ. We want to be tuned in to the whispers from heaven.
The benefits of being tuned into Jesus are as follows:
We will love ourselves and others. We will be kinder. We will be tolerant. We will look at those around us and we will see beauty of the drama that is taking place in their souls. We will learn to forgive quickly. We will have a dignity that nobody can take away from us. Jesus Christ was crucified, nearly naked on the Cross, and nobody could take away His dignity. We are citizens of heaven and we are entitled to similar dignity.
Another symptom that we are tuned in to heaven is that we will gain a greater and greater commitment to our Catholic Church which includes a commitment to the welfare and spread of the Church.
In our lives, we are involved in many relationships and Jesus has a plan for each relationship. When Jesus met His mother on the way to His death, I believe that He looked into her face and drew courage from her. I think that in her eyes He was reminded of the plan that included the salvation of mankind. Surely, this convicted Him in His suffering and renewed His strength.
We need to be that for other apostles. When they encounter us, let them be reminded of these three things. One, there is a plan. Two, it has been ordained by heaven, And three, we each have a role to play.
Extract from Newsletter No.10 of ‘Direction for our Times’.
Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King.