This is PART of a Sermon I heard on “Daily Mass,” Catholic TV several weeks ago, PARAPHRASED. I wrote down what I could remember, because It was Wonderful, Inspiring and Uplifting.
The Cross Is There To Show Us We Have To Take Up OUR Cross And Follow Jesus. The Cross Is Taylor Made For Each Of Us (*Every One’s Cross Is Different But Relative). There Will Be Periods Of Desolation (Anguish, Misery, Loneliness), And Abandonment (Feeling That God Has Left Us Even Though) He Hasn’t. Carrying Our Cross Daily Is Worth it, GOD WILL REWARD Us. It (The Cross) Is Good, It Reminds Us There Is Something Better For Us On The Other Side. Life Is An Appetizer, We Will Not Be Completely Satisfied Here On Earth; The Banquet Is In Heaven.
We Should Cry And Miss Our Loved Ones That Have Gone On, It Makes Us Want To See Them, To Be Reunited With Them In Heaven. (Here, I Believe, He Speaks Of A Priest Whose Twelve Year Old Son Was At A Baseball Game And Became Ill And Died Of A Brain Aneurysm).
A Priest Had Been Preaching The Cross For Several (Weeks) And One Of The Members Complained One Sunday That He Always Preached THE CROSS And The Priest Said, “THERE IS NO GREATER MESSAGE IN THE WORLD THAN THE CROSS, AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, GET OUT.”
Hebrews 12:2) Looking Unto Jesus The Author And Finisher Of our Faith; Who For The Joy That Was Set Before Him Endured The Cross, Despising The Shame, And Is Set Down At The Right Hand Of The Throne Of God. Amen.
Looking Unto Jesus, The Author And Finisher Of our Faith, &c.] Not with bodily eyes, for at present He Is Not To Be Looked Upon in this manner, but with the eye of the Understanding, or with the eye of Faith; for Faith is a seeing of The Son; it is A Spiritual Sight Of Christ, which Is At First But Glimmering, Afterwards It Increases, and is of a Soul Humbling Nature; It Is Marvelous and Surprising; it Transforms Into The Image Of Christ, and Fills With Joy Unspeakable, and Full Of Glory: A Believer should be always Looking To Christ, and off of every object, as The Word here used Signifies. Christ Is To Be Looked Unto As “Jesus”, A Saviour, Who Being Appointed And Sent By God To Be A Saviour, Came, and Is Become The Author Of Eternal Salvation; And To Him Only Should We Look For It: He Is Able and Willing To Save; He Is A Suitable, Complete, And Only Saviour; and whoever Looks To Him By Faith Shall Be Saved; And He Is To Be Considered, And Looked Unto, As “The Author And Finisher Of Faith”: He Is The Author Or Efficient Cause Of It; all men are by nature without It (Faith); It is not in the power of man to Believe of himself; It Is A Work Of Omnipotence (The All Powerful God); It is an Instance of The Exceeding Greatness Of The Power Of God; And It Is The Operation Of Christ, By His Spirit; And The Increase Of It Is From HIM. ( Luke 17:5 ) and He Is The Finisher Of It; He Gives Himself, and The Blessings Of His Grace, To His People, To Maintain and Strengthen It; He Prays For It, That It Fail Not; He Carries On The Work Of faith, and Will Perform It With Power; and Brings To, and Gives That Which Is The End Of It, ETERNAL LIVE, or THE SALVATION OF THE SOUL. Who For The Joy That Was Set Before Him; the word (anti) , rendered “For”; sometimes signifies, In The Room, or Stead Of, as in ( Matthew 2:22 ) ( 20:28) and is so rendered here in the Syriac and Arabic versions; and then the sense is, that Christ Instead Of Being In The Bosom Of The Father, Came Into This World; Instead Of Being In The Form Of God, He Appeared In The Form Of A Servant; Instead Of The Glory Which He Had With His Father From Eternity, He Suffered Shame And Disgrace; Instead Of Living A Joyful And Comfortable Life On Earth, He Suffered A Shameful And An Accursed Death; And Instead Of The Temporal (Earthly) Joy And Glory the Jews proposed to HIM, He Endured The Shame And Pain Of The Cross: sometimes it signifies the end for which a thing is, as in ( Ephesians 5:31 ) and may intend that, For The Sake Of Which Christ Underwent So Much Disgrace, And Such Sufferings; Namely, For The Sake Of Having A Spiritual Seed, A Numerous Offspring With Him In Heaven (The Church, His Bride), Who Are His Joy, And Crown Of Rejoicing; For The Sake Of The Salvation Of All The Elect, On Which His Heart Was Set; and For The Glorifying Of The Divine Perfections, Which Was No Small Delight and Pleasure To Him. And to this agrees the Chaldee paraphrase of ( Psalms 21:1 ) . “O Lord, In Thy Power Shall The King Messiah (ydxy) , “Rejoice”, And In Thy Redemption How Greatly Will He Exult!” And also because of His Own Glory As Mediator, Which Was To Follow His Sufferings, And Which Includes His Resurrection From The Dead, His Exaltation At The Right Hand Of God, and The Whole Honour And Glory Christ Has In His Human Nature; see ( Psalms 16:8-11 ) and With A View To All This, HE Endured The Cross which is to be taken not properly for that frame of wood, On Which He Was Crucified; but, improperly, For All His Sufferings, From His Cradle To His Cross; And Particularly The Tortures Of The Cross, Being Extended On It, And Nailed Into It; and Especially THE DEATH OF THE CROSS, which kind of HE ENDURED TO VERIFY THE PREDICTIONS OF IT, ( Psalms 22:16 ) ( Zechariah 12:10 ) and To Show That He Was Made A Curse For His People; and This being a Roman punishment, shows that The Sceptre was taken from Judah, and therefore The Messiah Must Be Come; and That Christ Suffered For The Gentiles, as well as Jews: and This Death He Endured With Great Courage And Intrepidity, With Much Patience And Constancy, And In Obedience To The Will Of His Father: Despising The Shame; Of The Cross; For It Was An Ignominious (Deserving and Shameful) Death (He Being That Great Sacrifice For All Our Sins), as Well As A Painful One; and As He Endured The Pain Of It With Patience, He Treated The Shame Of It With Contempt; Throughout The Whole Of His Life, He Despised The Shame And Reproach That Was Cast Upon Him; and So He Did At The Time Of His Apprehension, and When Upon His Trial, And At His Death, Under All The Ignominious (Deserving and Shameful) Circumstances That Attended It; which should teach us not to be ashamed of The Reproach Of Christ, But Count It An Honour To Be Worthy To Suffer Shame For His Name.And Is Set Down At The Right Hand Of The Throne Of God; Which Is In Heaven; And Is Expressive Of The Majesty And Glory Of God; And Of The Honour Done To Christ In Human Nature, Which Is Not Granted To Any Of The Angels: Here Christ Sits As God’s Fellow, As Equal To Him, As God, And As Having Done His Work As Man, And Mediator (Go-Between); and This May Assure Us, That When We Have Run Out Our Race, We Shall Sit Down Too, With Christ Upon His Throne, And Be At Rest. Amen.
(*) This person’s interpretation
Luke 9:23) And He Said To them all, If Any Man Will Come After Me, Let Him Deny Himself, And Take Up His Cross Daily, And Follow Me.
Also see, Mother Angelica, 1999, Catholic TV.