Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 1:10-17; Matthew 10:34-11:1)
One wall of the home was covered with crucifixes and crosses. They were large and small; wood, metal, and stone. Coming from different parts of the world, they comprised a fascinating testimony of Christian faith. Jesus likely would have taken notice. How would he have responded? Two things come to mind.
First, he would have cited Isaiah in today’s first reading. He does so elsewhere in the gospel of Matthew. He would have said that it is not a display of crosses that he desires any more than God seeks “new moons and festivals.” He wants people who pursue righteousness in the way they live and justice for the vulnerable. In other words, he wants mechanics to charge fair prices and hospitals to provide care to the poor.
Just as important, Jesus would have said, we have to learn something from the crosses on the wall. As Jesus bore his cross in obedience to the Father, so are we to bear our crosses. The cross we take up may be to love a difficult person with whom we work or live. It may be to follow the directives of health care officials or even to accept contagion and isolation during this pandemic. However challenging it is, each of us must carry her or his particular cross with patience.