The Flame: March & April, 2007

Dear Readers of The Flame,

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world." (Galatians 6:14)

The Holy Spirit leads us to appreciate and even boast of the cross of Jesus Christ. Without the Holy Spirit, boasting in an instrument of torture and execution would seem absurd. Perhaps a modern day equivalent would be boasting in an electric chair.

However, we can join St. Paul in boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ because of  the work of the Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit reveals:

crossgWho was crucified on the cross: It is Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Savior of the world. He is the Lamb of God, the sacrifice that reconciles sinful humanity to our holy and loving Father.

Why he died for us: The death of Jesus of Nazareth destroyed the powerful sway that death had over the human race. We are no longer slaves to the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15). Jesus shares with those who belong to him His victory over death.

How we are to live in the light of the cross: Not only are we to be fearless. We are to imitate the love revealed by Christ, the love that we consume and are consumed by every time we receive the Eucharist.

As charismatic Catholics we may be tempted to think that all of life is one big “Hallelujah!” Yet the Holy Spirit leads us to cross. He not only reveals to us what went on there, but the Spirit also invites us to embrace the cross of Christ. After St. Paul encourages Timothy to live in the Spirit “…of power, love and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7) he immediately told Timothy to “…bear your share of the hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” (II Timothy 1:8)

Among our Lenten resolutions, may we join our annoyances, pet peeves, difficulties, hardships, misunderstandings and especially anything resembling persecution to the cross of Jesus Christ. By cheerfully embracing these crosses, may we join St. Paul in boasting in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

Fr. Bob Franco


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