The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr. Angel Perez Peralta Jun, SVD — Japan
Thursday 6th Week in Ordinary Time
“What are my joys and victories as a missionary? When I speak of joys and victories, I cannot speak of them outside the Cross of Christ. I can never experience joy and victory in the missions without Christ’s victory on the cross.” These are the words that I shared last year in an event to celebrate 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.
When Jesus told his disciples that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected, be killed, and rise after, he showed them the true face and heart of the Messiah which Peter acknowledged and confessed. At the very heart of the Messiah is the cross, suffering, and glory. The Messiah is not a political messiah who will crush his enemies. Instead, the Messiah is Christ, the Word made flesh, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, the Messiah who carried his cross and got crucified, the Word resurrected after three days, and who will come again.
One Sunday when I reflected again on the cross in my homily, a parishioner asked me after, “Can I not live a life without the cross? Mas gusto ko ang Buddhism kasi ho, bliss ang end…” (I like Buddhism more, because it is always about bliss). I knew that the person was struggling a lot at that moment. But I also knew she believed in the wisdom of the cross of Christ.
Our Christian life is ultimately rooted in Christ’s suffering, death, and glory. May we embrace the cross of Christ to live life fully.