Luke 16: 1-8 What Is This I Hear About You?
Growing up, I often heard the expression “look at yourself.” But it seems as though I do way too much of that already. If I want to get a good look at myself, understand myself better and love myself even more, the last thing in the world I should do is look at myself (especially in the mirror). I know how vain (or disgusted) I can be.
The solution to all my problems (and the world’s problems) is to look at, meditate on, the Cross. This is the standard of life. Rather, he is the standard of life and for good and holy living. Of course, we know by faith that our story does not end there. THANK GOD! But the course of human events that push and pull my personal history will actually lead me there, one way or another. The Way of the Cross is actually the norm for all Christians.
Examine the Cross:
The Cross is the anti-thesis of pride, vanity and sensuality. The three root sins that all of us must combat on a daily basis. There is no pride in “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me.” There is no vanity in humiliation and no comfort in torture. The Cross is the accumulation of Christ’s life on earth. It speaks to me. “I did not come to do my will but my Father’s Will.”
The crucifixion places a value on the true cost love: “There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for another.” Our Lord on the cross reminds me of the order of things: “The Lord will change our lowly body.” This body of ours must first be stripped, ripped, torn and shredded before it can be glorified by the God of Love. “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” The cheering and jeering of Golgotha does lead to the silence and peace of our final resting place. There is tremendous peace in knowing that the Father’s Will has been accomplished; that I was faithful till death; and that I ran the course and finished the race. Where else can one find such closure in the midst of such confusion?
St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, tells us to be imitators of him, “for I imitate Christ.” This too is the final call of the great Apostle to those he loved, to “conduct themselves according to the model you have in us; to boast in nothing except for the Cross of Christ. He was not there when the Lord was crucified. But I am sure he kept a crucifix in his pocket, on his person, for surely he reflected on it over and over again.
The Lord’s crucifixion calls out to me and tells me, Man can never destroy what God has put together. The Apostle appeals, even in tears, to his joy and crown, the faithful, to not conduct yourselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Otherwise, your end will be destruction. Do not occupy your mind with earthly things. But always remember that our citizenship is in heaven.
You are Christ’s crown. You are his love. This is our joy! One of the thorns that pierced Christ’s skull was for my sins. The jewel that adorns Christ’s skull today is my repentance. This is what brings great joy to the Lord for “there is more rejoicing over one sinner who repents than for ninety-nine who are righteous.”
The Cross reminds me of the Lord’s commitment to me. What is my commitment to Him? What is this I hear about you? "Stand firm in the Lord, beloved."