I was supposed to post this blog post last night but I came back late from a session about vocation discernment which I will share later in another blog post. In the gospel reading on 31/08/14, we see Jesus telling his disciples of his crucifixion on the cross , his joyous resurrection and Peter being hesitant in carrying life’s many crosses.
But Peter told Jesus that he should not suffer as he is the Messiah. Jesus immediately told Peter ” Get behind me, Satan!, You are an obstacle to me, you are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.” (Matthew 16:21-27). At times, when our life gets tough and we experience negative aspects of life such as sickness, failures and obstacles, we often blame God for putting us in these situations. Is it fair to blame God?
Often, we are like Peter and we want our lives to be as smooth as possible but we must remember that we are carrying the cross with Jesus through life’s journey as pilgrims and we are strengthening our faith as Catholics. If we do not carry our cross and choose the easy way out, then we are not true followers of Jesus. Jesus has sacrificed so much to save the world from sin and try to guide us on the right path. We should not be self-centered but embrace the cross through our difficulties, and it is where we can experience Jesus’s love and comfort also.
Jesus reminds Peter to not stand in the way of temptation to take the easy way out but to trust in Jesus in the fight against oppression, temptation and sin. It speaks of Jesus’s love for us that he wants us to not fall into the trap of temptation. We must be attracted to God in being obedient to his teachings and Jesus’s death on the cross paved the way for all of us to be saved and free from sin. The love of Jesus saved Peter in freeing his mind from what the world tells him to think but to focus as a disciple of Jesus.
To me, these past weeks have been mentally and physically draining as I struggle to adjust back to life in the University and to cope with the increasing workload in my studies and assignments. It is tiring and sleep is such a privilege to me. I do not blame Jesus but am thankful for the people around me, such as my friends and family for supporting me. Life is never going to be a smooth road and I have to accept the fact. I pray more for Jesus’s guidance and support that he carries the cross with me all through my life.
Many times, we complain to Jesus on how we want to run our lives to avoid obstacles but in the end, we lose more than we gain which is turning away from Jesus and ruining our lives. When we lose certain things in life like, for me, the time for rest and peace of mind, I gain better things to help me cope and to find respite again. Therefore it is important that we stop blaming God when things do not go our way but to look at our situation with a different perspective.
Being focused and steadfast in our love for Jesus will make us become true followers of Christ. Jesus never did complain when he carried and died for us on the cross. He prayed for everyone who persecuted him and journeyed with him. Yes, we enjoy living a life of happiness, wealth and joy but what about living our lives in the Lord where there is eternal happiness, joy and victory? I just pray for the strength to carry life’s daily crosses with Jesus, and I know that it is possible to overcome the obstacles in life. I know Jesus’s love and grace is sufficient to sustain me!
I pray for those carrying heavy crosses that Jesus will lighten their burden and restore their tired souls to continue their journey through the trails and tribulations of life. God Bless!
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong