Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today in the news we see another famous and influential artist having taken his own life. The man in question was one of immense talent and his fame showed that this was evident to all.

July 20, 2017

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 392

EX 3:13-20

PS 105:1 AND 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27

MT 11:28-30


Today in the news we see another famous and influential artist having taken his own life.  The man in question was one of immense talent and his fame showed that this was evident to all.  Somehow though, all of that did not make him content with life.  I cannot tell you what he was thinking in his last moments, or even the events in his life that led up to this point.   What I can tell you is that for many life becomes burdensome, it becomes difficult, it becomes so hard to handle that for some they think that taking their own lives will be better for them and their friends than their continued life.   If you ever find yourself thinking those thoughts, call me, text me, email me, come find me.  This world is a better place with you in it.  It was a better place with him in it as well, and I am sorry that we have let him down.

You see I find that anytime someone commits suicide that it is a reflection on the rest of us as a society.  It is a failure on our part, especially those of us who claim the title Christian, to help carry the crosses and burdens of those around us.  Like Simon of Cyrene, we must reach out to those in need and lift that cross that has them pushed to the ground.   To carry it with them in the journey and lead them to Him, the one who offers them a lighter burden, an easier load.  Pretending that we can unburden ourselves, that somehow if we work hard enough or do enough of this, or own enough of that… is a failure of understanding that only in Christ can we be unburdened.  It’s when we join with Christ in the carrying of the cross that we can find a lighter load.

That’s a paradox, isn’t it?  The Cross.   I am here writing to you that the Cross is the easiest of all burdens to carry.  The same Cross that Jesus fell under the weight of three times.   The same horrible death that made all of the disciples but one flee into the night.   The same cross whose threat loomed in the rising of the morning sun made Peter deny the Master three times as the rooster crowed its alarm toll.   That is the easiest one to bear.   Because He bears it with and for us.   Because it is Christ who carried the cross, and when we hand our suffering over to Him, when we stop trying to be in control, that’s when it all becomes easy.

We are in the land of spiritual bondage, our own Egypt, enslaved by the world.  Our slavery to things, monies, and desires is just as real as those of the Israelites thousands of years ago, and in some cases even more damaging and dangerous.   God says to us the same thing He said to them: I am concerned about you and about the way you are being treated; so I have decided to lead you up out of your misery and into a land flowing with milk and honey.  Are you ready to turn it over to Him?   To allow Him to carry this load?  To realize that the only true happiness comes from being free of all those burdens that you have been saddled with, and to trust in God?    Always remember, I am here to listen if you ever need to talk.