A life-size representation of Jesus carrying the cross is seen on the grounds of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. CNS photo/Octavio Duran

Meditations on Holy Week

By  Peter Shaw, Youth Speak News
  • April 6, 2022

Every year, just before Easter, we take a week to meditate on Christ’s Passion. We contemplate Jesus’ sacrificial death for us.

He suffered through more pain than can be imagined, because as He walked the Via Dolorosa, He not only carried His Cross, He carried the weight of our sins as well.

In this season of Lent, Jesus shows us two things: one cannot enter heavenly paradise without losing Earth, and it is we who truly crucify Him.

Throughout the Bible, Jesus speaks many times about a man who would unfailingly sell his worldly possessions to gain a precious treasure he discovered in a field. He preached about how discovering the way to enter the eternal paradise with the Lord parallels this sensation. 

However, Heaven is not just a pearl or riches of great value. It is much more than that: it is an infinite reward of life and happiness. And if the treasure was so much greater, so also must be the sacrifice.

Jesus refers to this in His saying about the narrow gate: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Mt. 7:13-4).

"Since Christ carried our sins on His Cross, every time we sin, we add to His Cross."

Although we are not alone in our struggle against the devil, we are far from outnumbering the enemy. Many people we encounter throughout life will choose the quick and easy path, and we who choose to tackle the more difficult road will sometimes be tempted to wander. But still, we must strive. We must be willing to sacrifice everything for God, who sacrificed everything for us.

After Mary and the 12 apostles received the Holy Spirit, Peter went out and spoke to the people outside. He preached of the Messiah, who had come down to Earth. And he evangelized how this Messiah fulfilled the scriptures and the words of the prophets.

Acts 2:23 contains the stern message Peter imparted to the people: “This man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law.”

In the audience stood the populace from the entire Roman Empire at the time: Judeans and Gentiles alike. Some in the crowd had never heard of Jesus before, so it would have been impossible and difficult for them to have physically crucified Jesus.

But St. Peter spoke to all of them and said that all of them crucified Christ. We can tell they understood this because they were baptized and repented. The thing is, Peter’s message transcends all boundaries of time. You can picture him imparting this message one-on-one to you in April 2022.

Since Christ carried our sins on His Cross, every time we sin, we add to His Cross. It is impossible to wholly make this up to Him, but we can remember Him when we too suffer, and unite our suffering with Him so that one day we may reach our eternal reward.

(Shaw, 15, is completing home school in Barry’s Bay, Ont.)

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