February 18, 2011 by bobet888
The Law of the Cross
by Fr. Bobby Titco
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If the ultimate joy of any disciple is indeed in becoming like the Master, there is no other way for us but to include death in our living and to welcome the cross in our following Him. This does not mean that we create our own cross and cause our own death. This does not mean that we go around and carry the cross of others. This does not mean that we foolishly risk our selves so as to die and call our death “an offering to God.” It means, rather, that if fulfilling the will of God demands our life, we are willing to lay it down. It means that if persecution, trials, sickness, and even death are consequences of obedience to God, we will still obey Him. It means that if in following Jesus we are brought right before the cross, we will not simply stare at the cross, much less run away from it, but rather carry the cross and, with Jesus, be crucified to it. It is totally absurd to include failure in our vision of victory. It is completely illogical to welcome defeat in our plan for triumph. This is, in the words of Fr. Bernard Lonergan, a respected Jesuit theologian, “The Law of the Cross”. And as the maxim says, “Dura lex sed lex.” “The law is hard but it is the law.” There is no other way by which we can become like Jesus except through the Law of the Cross. The Law of the Cross is not a set of commandments. The Law of the Cross is a spirituality of dying and rising and dying and rising and dying and rising with Christ. It is the law of laying down one’s life as Jesus did in obedience to the Father and thereby becoming life itself. It is the law of love that kept Jesus crucified on the cross more than what the nails in His hands and feet could accomplish. It is the law of loving like Jesus, living like Jesus, dying like Jesus, and rising like Jesus.
The Law of the Cross is the Paschal Mystery of the Lord. “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24) – this is the Law of the Cross. “I came that you may have life and life in abundance” – this is the spirit of the Law of the Cross. The Law of the Cross is the life of any disciple. It is our life.