The cross of Jesus enters our lives in a variety of ways. We bear crosses due to illness, loss, trauma, an addiction, and during this pandemic there’s a long list of crosses to bear. 2020 has been a challenge and scripture has much to offer and teach each about bearing our crosses.
Today, I returned to John 19 and a reading we shared during Holy Week. From the cross, Jesus tells his mother and his beloved disciple that they will be family for each other. Jesus, even from the cross, cultivates a loving response to loss and tragedy. Jesus tells us we accompany each other. We witness and stand by our neighbours, friends and loved ones as they experience pain and suffering.
The cross of accompaniment asks us to be present. Today, I think of people protesting racism, and loved ones sitting by a nursing home window and watching their loved ones. Accompanying, however we can, is vital to faithful living. Sometimes this means listening and letting others tell us what they need from us and we can offer a few kind words, daily prayers, and even the gift of silence. We grow and learn and are tired during these times. Be patient with yourself during these times and find ways to refresh soul, mind and body as you faithfully accompany others as ally and advocate and friend.
One beautiful way to offer self-care at tough times is to find your prayer place. So many people have reacted to Moira’s beautiful garden bench photo that graces the church Facebook page. Perhaps there is somewhere you can go and sit in nature [your very own Mary garden] or a path you follow that gives you space and encouragement to have a holy conversation.
Walk with God today.
You are held.
You are loved.
Prayer of St Francis
God, make me a channel of thy peace, that
where there is hatred, I may sow love;
where there is wrong, the spirit of forgiveness;
where there is discord, harmony;
where there is error, truth;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there are shadows, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
God, grant that I may not so much seek to be comforted, as to comfort;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. AMEN.