Sunday, July 30, 2017

No other way, but JESUS CHRIST

Oftentimes, we, Christians, are trapped in situations where we no longer want to move forward because the weight of the cross is overwhelming us. It's heavy. It's tiresome. It's consuming all our energies. It's draining. It's exhausting.  For most of us, we can only complain and asked, "Isn't His yoke easy? Isn't His burden light? Why this distressful feeling?" The Prophet Jeremiah (15:18) also uttered similar words, perhaps, in a very snivel tone, "Why is my pain continuous, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?"  Even the Lord Jesus Christ, when He was crucified on the cross, spoke of similar lamentations to the Father, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"  But, unlike the Prophet Jeremiah and the Lord Jesus Christ, we try to escape by diverting our attention to worldly things - power, money, promiscuous sex, drunkenness, etc. The great Saint Augustine, in his confessions, had a similar situation, "You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for You." But these diversions, no matter how ecstatic, will only give us superficial and momentary happiness. They will never give us the true happiness and rest we are longing for. It will just leave us empty and more distressed. So, what, then, can bring us rest? Who, then, can give us true and lasting happiness? We are at a cross-road. Confused, and most of the time, feeling alone. In the words of the Apostle Peter,  we ask the same question, "To whom shall we go (cf. John 6:68)?"  The Holy Scriptures will point us (again) to JESUS as the Way, Truth and Life; He is, even, referred to as the Prince of Peace and Lord of the Sabbath (Rest). So, if we will come to JESUS "again," the weight of the cross will burdened us again, and the cycle will continue unless we give up our faith, and search for rest and happiness somewhere else.

But, is giving up our crosses the answer? Is it really the cross that burdens us or is it the kind of faith that we have?  Are we Christians, just because we expect a blessed and abundant earthly life? Let us try to ponder on these questions, because if we are really after the earthly gains, our Christianity is heading the wrong way. 

The Lord Jesus, in the Gospel Narratives, made it clear that "no slave is greater than his master."   If Jesus went through all the hardships, we, too, shall experience it. We will never understand how light and easy His yoke is, unless we've experienced for ourselves how a heavy and difficult yoke feels. The cross is evocative; and if we truly take our Christianity seriously, with a deep intentions to have a personal relationship with Jesus, then the load of the cross will become easy and light. After all, He who called us will also sustain us.  There is no other way, but JESUS CHRIST.

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