Thought for the Day – 16 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Road to Calvary
After having been condemned to death, Jesus is delivered into the hands of the Jews to be crucified as a malefactor.
Two rough beams of wood are fixed together, in the form of a cross and placed upon His shoulders.
He is already worn out with suffering and has lost large quantities of blood as a result of the scourging and of the crowing with thorns.
Jesus does not reject the Cross, but embraces it.
He has come into this world to show forth His infinite love and to redeem us from our sins by His suffering and death.
In the garden of Gethsemane, He has said with sublime resignation to the Heavenly Father: “Not my will but thine be done” (Lk 22:42).
The Cross is too heavy for His human strength but what does that matter?
He embraces it, takes it upon His weary shoulders and sets out for Calvary.
Perhaps we have often kissed the Crucifix with reverence and affection.
Let us keep it hanging upon the walls of our home where we can gaze on it, with love and hope.
Let us pray before it in our moments of need.
But what about our own cross?
Do we love our cross as Jesus loved His?
Do we embrace it as Jesus did?
Do we bow willingly beneath the load as He did and, do we carry it, with resignation and without useless complaints?
It is not enough to love the Crucifix.
We must love our own cross as well, in silence and in prayer, knowing, that only in this way, can we imitate Jesus, Who has said to us: “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23).