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Join Christ in Redeeming the World


By Fr. Frederick Edlefsen


The beginnings of Christ’s mission are contemplated in the rosary’s The Joyful Mysteries of the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation in the Temple, and Finding in the Temple.  Like Christ, our lives began with joyful hope, a fresh beginning.  Like a rosebud, every newborn shines beauty and wonder upon us all.  


But life’s journey is long and painful.  Our beginning’s freshness fades into a distant memory, like a lost treasure.  The beginning’s romance gives way to the realism of life’s rough and fallen path where thieves rob our innocence and taunt us with suffering.   


We don’t travel far before we feel the Cross.  We experience the Sorrowful Mysteries in one way or another:  the Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowing with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and Death.  But traversing this “valley of tears” promises New Birth: Rising from the Dead.  Purity of heart blossoms from suffering and brings Wisdom, the crown jewel of prophets and kings of old.    If you seek wisdom, God will love you in a most intimate way.  “I love those who love me, and those seek me find me” (Proverbs 8:17).      The Cross gives New Birth to a New Creation.  Its crown is Wisdom.  


St. Paul says, “You can trust in this:  If we died with Him, we will also live with Him.  If we endure, we will also reign with Him” (2 Timothy 2:11-12).  The Cross of Jesus — which includes our personal crosses — purifies us for God’s Kingdom.   Suffering makes us wise.  “The desire of wisdom leads to a kingdom” (Wisdom 6:20). 


Christ’s Cross turns suffering into something good.  Suffering in love reveals humanity’s moral greatness.  Suffering matures and makes wise.  It makes us generous and conquers self-centeredness.   What an irony!    In suffering, we overcome ourselves despite ourselves.   We discover, within, an empathy for all who suffer.  St. John Paul II called this “solidarity in suffering.”  In our suffering, God prepares us to console others who suffer.   


During this Passion Week, reflect on this mystery.  In so doing, you will become a missionary of hope.   Embrace the Cross.  Join Christ in redeeming the world!



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