Your Gorgeous Cross (((HOMILY))): 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday August 30, 2020
"Take up your cross," Jesus tells us in this Sunday's gospel reading from Matthew 16:21-27. The Twelve Disciples must have be horrified when they heard this command. In the first century, the cross meant something more sinister than the love and devotion it exudes today. For them, the cross was a brutal instrument of Roman torture, corruption, fear, and agony. The cross was specifically designed to keep you alive as long as possible in order to inflict as much pain as possible. In other words, it invoked the worst of humanity. Today, our country is hurt. In an ever seemingly ceaseless parade of pain, we see cities on fire. Americans warring against one another to the point of blood. A smoke of unease infects our air, that we set an all times sales record -- five million new gun owners in the last few months alone. How are we Christians to respond? In this homily, I propose a way for us to "take up (our) cross" anew. As St. Rose of Lima reminded us that if we want to become the saints we were created to be, "Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."