Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“Whoever is not against us is for us.” The Cross remains for us the one definitive act of God’s love where he expresses unconditionally his love for all humanity. The Cross symbolizes God allowing himself in Jesus to be cursed and utterly humiliated for the sake of saving us. God proves his love to the point of death on a Cross. Jesus would tell us no one has greater love than this. How does the Cross make you feel? What do you see when you look upon the Cross? Do you see Jesus dying because he chose not to disclose that you are the one, not he who is guilty of blasphemy? Jesus embraces the Cross for the love of poor sinners. When given the Cross, he embraces it, kisses it and graciously carries the Cross to repair and atone for our sins and pay the price for our sinfulness. He never complains. He remains silent not telling anyone how guilty we are. What if you were asked to help carry the Cross? How would you respond? Would you try to find an excuse or walk away? Would you look at Jesus with contempt as Simon did? He was concerned for himself wanting everyone to know that unlike Jesus, he was innocent of any crime, he was not a criminal. Simon has to be forced to assist Jesus. Do you have to be forced to assist Jesus? As Simon helps carry the Cross, he encounters the God who loves him. One look into Jesus’ eyes and Simon sees humility, innocence, vulnerability, love, patience, peace. Simon cries for he realizes the truth about who Jesus is. He is not a criminal. He is innocent. He is the Messiah who has allowed himself to be bruised, beaten and broken for the salvation of souls. Simon understands he is a poor sinner in need of redemption. He is a poor sinner in need of this cross. He understands that he is not helping to carry Jesus’ cross but that Jesus is helping him to carry his cross. What do you see when you gaze upon the Cross? Can you see God pouring out all his love until it hurts? Can you see God giving everything until it hurts no more? Do you understand that no one loves you more than this or can ever love you more than this? As Jesus carries the Cross, that is, as Jesus carries your cross, he is loving you in every step, in every fall, to the point of death – death on a cross.