Last weekend I was out of town and attended Palm Sunday Mass with two of our Sisters in a local parish. The liturgy is longer than usual because of the blessing of the palms and outdoor procession, as well as the reading of the Passion. To close the Mass we were invited to sing the recessional song Lift High the Cross. It was at this moment that God touched my heart. An elderly gentleman, frail himself, was helping his wife walk slowly down the aisle. She clung to him with one arm and held a cane in the other. Her unsteadiness caught my eye. That’s when I noticed the gentleman singing the chorus of Lift High the Cross. My eyes filled with tears. His tender care and devotion to his wife spoke volumes to me. It was clear that he understood the words he sang, and the meaning that they give to his everyday life.
This experience has stayed with me. It invites me to wonder about the crosses I bear and the manner in which I carry them. In the midst of a difficult time, can I sing the same song and really mean it? Do I bear my crosses with love? How do I use my eyes and heart to notice the crosses that others bear and offer to help carry their load? During this week as we reflect on Jesus’ Way of the Cross, perhaps we’ll find time to reflect on our own crosses and those of our sisters and brothers around the world. Perhaps we’ll grow closer together as we bear the cross of Christ in love.