The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Emmanuel Menguito SVD — Christ the King Mission Seminary
Thursday After Ash Wednesday / Lent
A certain man kept complaining to the Lord why he has been given a heavy cross to bear in his life when he has been good much of his life. The man had this ill-feeling running through his mind till he fell asleep.
And he dreamt! In his dream, he met Jesus, and as expected, he complained to Jesus of the heavy cross he has been carrying. Our Lord then told him to look inside a room our Lord pointed out to him and see if he can find another cross that might be to his liking.
The man happily put down his cross and went inside the room. He saw one cross, tried to lift it on his shoulder, and found it too light. He tried another one which was too heavy for him. Finally, he found one he believed he could carry with a big deal of sacrifice but which he was comfortable doing so for God.
Coming back to Jesus, he said to him that he found one to his liking. As he was saying this, he noticed that the cross that he has chosen was a replica of the one he has rejected, and he asked the Lord why this was so.
With a soft and tender voice, our Lord told him: “That’s because I always give to each one a cross that he or she can carry. You need not complain about the cross you carry in your life.” The man woke up with such a thought and promised himself that he would be more ready to bear his burdens in life.
What comprise our cross/crosses in life? For one, there are our daily responsibilities. Whatever you are, a parent, a spouse, a company employee, a medical staff, a student, etc., there is always a demand on anyone to give his or her all in the performance of one’s duties. Putting love and enthusiasm into what we do will never be easy, but certainly such will make a difference in the sight of the Lord and in the way we look at the duties and responsibilities that we have in life.
Secondly, we battle with what we can call a “residue” of original sin. Theology calls it concupiscence or simply that tendency to sin as seen in our tendencies to give in to the desires of the flesh or to hate others and be unforgiving. We have to admit that our own efforts would not be sufficient for us to be victorious in such a battle. We have to allow God’s grace to help us in this. Finding more time for prayer and receiving the sacraments (most especially the Eucharist and the sacrament of reconciliation) will undoubtedly provide us the needed grace to strengthen us in this spiritual warfare.