Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's not fair


Which of us did not at some point whine this refrain to our parents. Today we celebrate what may seem to be a strangely titled feast. In English it is either referred to as "The Exaltation of the Cross" or "The Triumph of the Cross."

We lift up the cross. We venerate the cross, we repeat the refrain  "Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have  set us free. You are the savior of the world." The question is: are we willing to embrace the cross and imitate Christ fully?

Love of neighbor and a sense of charity may move us to give to those in need: flood victims in Pakistan, hurricane victims in Louisiana. What Christ did on the cross was no mere act of philanthropy or charity, in the ordinary sense of the word.  On the cross Christ willingly suffered for sinners. Those for whom he hung on the cross were not innocent victims of natural disasters; they were bad people, to put it bluntly. He accepted punishment and suffered because of someone else's wrong-doing.

Was it fair that he have to suffer for another person's sins? In our childish human sense of fair, No.
But it is what he did.
Even more miraculously, he did it willingly.

How do we feel when we have to suffer because of someone else's mess? Do we get angry and whine like the four-year old "It's not fair"? Or do we embrace the cross in imitation of Christ?