Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent year B

Isaiah 41:13-20     Mathew 11: 11-15

Theme: The cross of Christ

Today the church celebrates the memorial of St. John of the cross, a priest and a Carmelite. Himself and St. Theresa of Avila worked very hard to bring about the reformation of the Carmelite order. As a result of this, he faced a lot of challenges, persecutions, oppositions, and imprisonment, and all these did not stop him from carrying out his mission for the love of God. In his life, we see what it truly means to carry the cross of Christ daily and follow him. Amidst all the difficulties and persecutions, he encountered, he never gave up, but remained focused until the end. His steadfastness and perseverance should be a great source of strength for all those going through one form of persecution or the other. St. John of the Cross is said to be a saint in whose life the cross of Christ is made active and alive. Let us continue to draw strength from his faith and perseverance.

You may be going through one for of opposition or persecution because of the option for Christ that you have made, trust in God and be strengthened by the fact that you are not alone in your situation; God is with you. The perseverance of St. John of the Cross shows that he was not alone in his challenges, God was with him through it all. Your own situation will not be different, he is with you all the way. Have faith and remain focused on the right path that will lead you to eternal life at the end of your earthly pilgrimage. Granted, it is not an easy task, but compromising at this point should not be an option. May the grace of God continue to strengthen you, in this difficult moment of your life.

The saints we celebrate in the church today, carried their crosses at different times and in different ways, because of their faith in God. You cannot walk through the narrow way without carrying your cross and following Christ, it is part of the package of following Christ, and you cannot run away from it. What we need to continue to pray for daily in our lives is the grace to face it courageously with faith whenever it comes to us.  May St. John of the Cross continue to intercede for us, in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit, Amen. Peace be with you.

Thursday of the 2nd week of Advent year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp