This Lent let us examine each of these pictures and reflect. Am I like this guy who is only after his own comfort or do I strive to embrace my cross with patience and love? You alone can answer that.
Lord, sometimes I am like that guy above. I complain about extra responsibilities. I find ways to escape from my problems. I try to hide from you. Please wake me up from my illusion that my life on this earth should be a smooth and carefree one. When my cross gets too heavy, I know I can sit down and rest for awhile, but never allow me to compromise. It's hard to follow the right path. My weak and fallen human nature constantly tells me to just give in to worldly things and I often find myself doing just like that.
Lord, rather than despising our cross, please give us the courage and strength to bear it for the love of You. Help us to see that the cross can be an instrument for our personal growth and maturity. Through it may we come to know ourselves in a deeper way and may we come to appreciate little by little that the cross is meant for our sanctification and salvation.
Every now and then we may complain that our cross is getting heavier and heavier each day. May we look up to You as our model on how to carry one's cross with great love - that no matter how many times we fall, just like when You fell three times, all we have to do is pick ourselves up and press on. May we also realize that we are not alone along the way of the cross. Just as Veronica and Simon of Cyrene helped you through, we also have fellow journeyers who are willing to help us. Teach us to be sensitive to their sufferings as well and not be too preoccupied with our own concerns. All this I pray through your mighty name. Amen.
"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:23, 24)