“Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.” - Psalm 91
Sometimes Catholics get criticized or questioned as to why we focus so much on the Crucifixion and depict Jesus most commonly on the cross in our churches: “That happened 2,000 years ago, shouldn’t we be preaching Jesus as risen?” OR “Why do you keep putting Jesus on the cross? He already died once and for all!” We absolutely believe that Jesus is risen and we continue to find our hope in the Resurrection. However, we look to the crucifix and focus on the suffering of Jesus Christ during Lent because it reminds us that we cannot expect a Resurrection or transformation in our lives without struggle or suffering. Nothing worth doing comes easy and nothing falls in our lap in this life; the crucifix reminds us of that. My favorite thing about Lent and remembering Jesus on the cross when I walk into any Catholic Church, is that it reminds me that my suffering is welcome there. How beautiful a gift it is that Jesus chose to live a human life so that anything we experience or struggle with, we can look to Him as a God who understands our difficulties. Jesus understands your pain, your hurt, your loss, your struggle and your suffering. That is why we turn to God in times of trouble, because He knows our human experience and we can journey with Him in the difficult things, particularly in our prayer, our fasting and our almsgiving this season of Lent. This week as Lent begins, do not ask yourself, “what should I give up for Lent?” but instead ask “how can I draw nearer to Jesus during this time, especially in the ways I am most in need of Him in my life?” Ask yourself how you want to be different Easter morning and commit to drawing near to God and to others in such a way that will get you there. We are praying for you this week.
See you in the Eucharist!
Matt & Jenna are two Catholic best friends, youth ministers and worship leaders seeking to encourage, inspire & grow closer to Christ and His Church.