Saint for the day: John Francis Regis (January 31, 1597 – December 30, 1640)
2 Corinthians 4:7 – 15 – Psalm 116 – Matthew 5:27-32
“Beloved: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. (II Corinthians 4:7)
As I continued reading today’s first Scripture from II Corinthians the first thought that came to mind was our practice of celebrating “The Way of the Cross” during Lent. I’ve always believed that this devotion is like an “outline” of our life in following Jesus. From the quote, above, St Paul goes on to say, “We are perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus – and then, the most important part – so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
Whenever I’ve led this devotion in our parish I try to point out that we never do it in segments. We would never think to say that today we’ll do the first three “stations” and some other time we’ll do a few more. The fact that we do this devotion as a “packaged deal” should be apparent to us and give us the courage that St. Paul is struggling to communicate to his followers.
Whenever you feel that life is becoming to difficult and you wonder how much God can dish out to you, pick up one of those little “Stations Booklet” and all you have to do is read the titles of each of the 14 “Stations” and remembering that there is an “implied” 15th Station: The Resurrection! Just for today, don’t focus only on this Gospel, trying to figure out what you have to “cut off” in your life. Focus on the “journey of Jesus” and see how he never gave up. And just as there is that “implied” 15th Station there is also an implied “pre-1st Station: the agony in the garden where Jesus, Himself, cries out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Homework for today: just pick any one of the “Stations” that you can remember and let the power of Jesus’ last journey give you the courage to go on. Amen!