The Cross and the Death Penalty
SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Prayer of the Day: O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life. Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34.
I would be more than rich if I had a dime for every time I’ve heard these words of Jesus employed metaphorically. The term “bearing one’s cross” has been used to describe the annoyance of dealing with disagreeable co-workers, getting along with a bothersome neighbor, aches and pains that accompany old age, a streak of bad luck and just about every other uncomfortable or inconvenient circumstance one might encounter. I am not making light of these afflictions. Life deals some of us more than our share of tragic and undeserved body blows. Some of us bear up under those blows with grace, courage and dignity. Yet as admirable as that surely is, it isn’t the same as taking up the cross of Christ.
In the gospels, the cross is not a metaphor. Read more