Craig Fernandes, a former seminarian at St. Augustine’s Seminary, is now an engineering Master’s student at the University of Toronto.
Spreading the Gospel can be difficult in our increasingly secular society. As stewards who are called to put our God-given gifts to work for the service of the Church, this challenge can sometimes seem daunting.
We may be tempted to think that today’s society is just too far gone to accept Jesus. We may even see this in our own circle of friends and family members. However, society’s resistance to the Gospel message is nothing new and nothing to fear.
In today’s first reading from 2 Chronicles, we hear how God sent many people on His behalf to spread His word “but [the people] kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets.” Even in the Old Testament, those who sought to serve God faced hardships and retaliation. Therefore, as stewards, we should not expect everything in our ministry to be perfect or easy.
Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew that whoever wants to follow Him must first take up their cross. To take up the cross is to take up suffering and hardships for the sake of serving Christ.
As stewards, let us not shy away from these crosses but accept them willingly. The cross will forever be the symbol of our hope and salvation. To take part in the cross of Christ by carrying our own crosses is an act of supreme dignity. Therefore, the next time we face a difficulty in our stewardship, let us simply pray “Lord, help me to carry this cross out of love for you.”
In the first reading from 2 Chronicles we hear about how God’s messengers were persecuted and despised for listening to God. As stewards, we will often also face difficulties in our ministry which is a share in the cross of Christ. To suffer for Christ is a great dignity, so the next time you encounter sufferings in your stewardship, simply pray, “Lord, help me to carry this cross out of love for you.”
This reflection is based on the readings from the Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B: 2 Chronicles 36.14-17a, 19-23; Ephesians 2.4-10; and John 3.14-21.
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