An old joke asks: Why did Moses and the Israelites wander in the wilderness for 40 years? Because they didn’t ask for directions!
We’re on a journey too - not of 40 years, but 40 days of Lent – and proper direction is just as important for us. Consider today’s gospel: Jesus invites us to carry crosses. Those crosses are the suffering that enters every human life. Jesus stresses, however, that when we bear a cross, we’re to “follow him.” That’s our proper direction.
If we take off in a different direction, and follow a path different than our Lord’s, we’ll wind up exhausted, resentful, and alone. Chances are we won’t get very far, because our cross will become too heavy to bear.
But when we do follow Jesus, we’ll be given the courage we need to carry on, and a strength that can only come as God’s gift. We’ll have the consolation of seeing Jesus’ footsteps before us, or even planted right alongside ours. Because if there’s one thing his own cross can teach us, it’s that Jesus doesn’t want us to carry our crosses alone.
Readings for today's Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/031011.shtml