10th Week in Ordinary Time
. . . carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. (2 Corinthians 4:10)
What’s all this talk about carrying Jesus’ death with us? Is this just stirring rhetoric? Maybe a poetic description of the common phrase “offer it up”?
No. It’s the heart of the gospel! Because Jesus died and rose for us, his cross stands as the gateway to all of God’s blessings. As we unite ourselves with his cross—through repentance, through acts of obedience, or through service, we receive more and more of his life. We feel his love, we become more merciful, and we find ourselves more gentle.
A quick reflection on our attempts to change our hearts by ourselves can convince us that we need God’s “surpassing power” (2 Corinthians 4:7). We are all familiar with the drives toward anger, selfishness, lust, jealousy, and resentment that get in our way. How we long to be free of them! How peaceful our lives would be without them!
This is exactly how Paul’s “death-to-life” principle applies. To carry “the dying of Jesus” means to keep his cross in the forefront of our minds. It means to recall the mercy of his cross both in our prayer and throughout our day. It means to follow Jesus’ example by clinging to our heavenly Father when temptation comes our way.
So take the death of Jesus with you today. Recall all that he accomplished on the cross. Thank him for his death and resurrection and keep telling yourself that it is the power of God to change your heart. When you find yourself drawn to sin or selfishness, proclaim along with St. Paul that you are crucified with Jesus and that Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). Trust that just as Jesus’ death is at work in you, so too is his life—flowing into your heart, cleansing your conscience, and empowering you to live a new and more faith-filled life.
“Jesus, thank you for the power of your cross and resurrection! I believe that you have set me free from sin and filled me with your life. Lord, teach me to trust in you more deeply.”
Psalm 116:10-11, 15-18