I can feel every part of my body,
all worn out screaming for rest
and my mind struggles to keep up
with the school work and commitments
of my daily routine.
But I keep going,
as I have to complete the tasks.
The to-do-list never seems to be dwindling but increasing.
The crosses in life can be brutal, relentless and cold
but I will still have to bear it because it is part of life.
I will have to bear it with Jesus,
the sacrifices, the pain and the sufferings.
Deep inside, I know that I bear them with Jesus
who will shoulder it with me.
I will not give up, this is why I am still writing.
The gospel reading for last week shows Jesus praying by himself and he asked his disciples the question, “Who do you say I am?” There are many titles given to Jesus as noted in the reading from John the Baptist, Elijah and also the Christ of God.
The second question is, “What does Jesus mean to us?”
Previously I was lukewarm in my faith, just going through the routine but now I have started to pay closer attention to the homilies and also to reflect more. I feel that through reflecting more on the word of God, it helps to put our lives into better perspectives.
Jesus to me is the Good Shepherd
because he guides me and ensures that
I am not lost to evil and temptations.
Jesus means so much to me
because in my worries and uncertainties,
I have seen him work in ways
that comfort and assure me
that I have to learn to trust in him more
even when my faith is wavering.
“Then Jesus said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”(Luke 9:18-24).
I can identify with this quote because I always find it hard to deny myself. Why? The reason is pride and image. Pride is linked to guilt and sin as it makes you feel better than God and that you have the upper-hand which is in fact wrong. Denying myself means reflecting on my mistakes, going through reconciliation and asking for forgiveness.
Only Jesus can save me
because he has the power and grace
to calm the storms in my heart,
restore the dry arid land and make things whole again.
I feel that as I grow older
with more responsibilities being placed on me,
I will need to stay close to Jesus
because I need him more than ever.
Everyone has their own crosses to carry,
some heavy, some light, some new, some old
but nevertheless, there are still baggages.
I am praying for others around me
and helping them to carry their crosses.
However, I have to shoulder them on my own
because I have the “do not want to trouble others”mentality
which is why I do not share my crosses
with the community in school or with anyone else.
Perhaps they have worse problems than me?
Or they might not understand and scoff at them?
I will just need to rely on these 3 tools to sustain and help me through the days that I know will not be easy.
The 3 tools are prayers, the word of God and providence.
Prayers because it is a direct communication with God and that he will know what is best for me.
The word of God is a book that is alive as the words can lift up a person and there are so many stories for the many problems that we are facing. The Psalms is one of my favorite books in the bible.
Lastly would be providence; I have begun to trust God more since last year and I have never looked back. As long as I know that I have done my best, I know that it is enough.
Yes, my soul is thirsting for you, God,
please bring me somewhere quiet and restful in your time
where I can recharge and get my inner spirits lifted again.
The crosses in life are so agonizing
but I know that the crosses will always be there.
Help me to bear them more patiently
as I take one day at a time to finish my chores.
At the end of this journey, I know that you will be waiting for me
and that the greatest reward is the eternal salvation in paradise.
I hope that I will be ready by then!
We pray for all the sick, suffering and those that find the crosses in life unbearable that they know that there are others also going through similar difficulties and know that Jesus is always with them, taking turns to hold our crosses up. Amen.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong