Today’s feast invites us to pray anew over the gift that the dying and rising of Jesus is for each of us and for our families. That “gift” becomes so very practical in times of terminal illness or loss of work, family disagreement and personal distress.  Like Jesus, you and I lurch towards understanding that these personal and community experiences of dying and rising actually become our path towards wholeness and redemption.

It is what Pope Francis speaks about in urging us to find that “narrow gate” which defines our personal share in the cross of Jesus.  All of this comes alive in Paul’s description of Jesus who “though he was in the form of God…emptied himself…becoming obedient to death.”

Today’s gospel reminds us that “God so loved the world that he gave us his only Son….”
What finer companion can I have in this journey of life than one who teaches me so personally how to meet life’s pain and sadness, as well as the hope and joy they also promise.

Perhaps you have a favorite crucifix in your home or church.  Place yourself before Jesus today and look intently into his eyes. Hand over to him your anxiety and pain.  Find a place in your heart to let Jesus love you, strengthen you, and bring you hope.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team