In today’s Gospel, John tells the story of Jesus at the Last Supper, when he reveals to the disciples that Judas will betray him.
The Scripture says that Jesus was “deeply troubled” by this situation. Jesus, who has pitched his tent among us and shared our lot, experiences the most difficult human emotion there is: fear. Though he himself tells us “be not afraid” 365 times in the Gospel, he too experiences this great paralyzer of the human race.
The cross that Jesus will face is worthy of fear. But as Jesus will find out, God never abandons him. His Spirit raises Jesus up from the cross and makes him the conquerer of sin and death itself.
We too have crosses to bear. Our friends and neighbors do as well. This week is a time to acknowledge that the crosses are real, and so too is our responsibility to bear them.
But we do not bear them alone! Nor should we allow friends and neighbors to do so as well. While a cross without Christ is impossible to bear, a Cross with Christ is the source of our salvation.
Let’s take this time to authentically encounter our crosses and the crosses of our friends and neighbors with peace and dare I say joy, knowing that Jesus of Nazareth walks the way with us and offers us his friendship and redeeming love through it all.