THE CROSS OF LOVE
“Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.’ And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt have I called my son.’ Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: ‘A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” (Mt 2: 13-18)
Unfathomable. As one young Mother flees to Egypt, continuing the cross-carrying journey of motherly love, many other mothers in Bethlehem suffer this inconsolable grief, of witnessing the death of their beloved children. The Most Holy Theotokos was to endure this grief years later, at the foot of Her Son’s cross.
The cross of love! I have nothing particularly sensible to say about it, because really it makes little “sense.” It brings me the greatest joy in this life, and also the greatest pain.
But I’ll say this: love is “worth” it, in the light of Christ. He let Himself be led, by divine love, to the cross, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son...” (Jn 3: 16) The God-Man took on the pain and suffering of love, caused by all the “sin” and “death” that oppose love in this world, and overcame all that in His life-creating resurrection. His suffering, and ours, ends in the Resurrection, while love endures. So let me re-connect with God’s light today, in heartfelt prayer, and move forward on the cross-carrying journey of love, in Him. “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? …But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15: 55, 57)