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Standing by the Cross of Christ: Weekly Message for 09-12-2023
Dear Friends in Christ,
Therefore, my beloved brethren, stand firm, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
In a world that prizes hyperactivity, standing still appears at best indolence, at worst retrogression. And our activity is important. The Blessed Virgin Mary, after all, went in haste to visit Elizabeth. Yet isn’t it also true that much of our life requires simply standing firm in the mystery of God’s plan? And might this standing itself—if accepted out of love—be activity of the highest order?
John Milton puts it like this in his sonnet “When I consider how my light is spent”:
God doth not need either man’s work or his own gifts;
who best bear his mild yoke, they serve him best…
They also serve who only stand and wait.
“They also serve who only stand and wait.” Our great Tradition recognizes this deep truth on September 15th, when we honor Mary under the title of “Our Lady of Sorrows.” On Calvary, Mary apparently accomplishes no memorable activity. She simply stands firm at the foot of the Cross, in faith, in hope, in love. And in this way she cooperates fully in the mystery of Redemption; in this way she is truly the Queen of Apostles.
And so it goes for every Christian. The greatest work of all is to be with the Lord (Mark 3:13). If we stand with him, at the foot of his Cross, we share in his work. We may find ourselves in a season of intense activity; we may find ourselves in a season of waiting.
What would it mean to stand at the foot of the Cross, with Mary, in any situation?
Fr. John Pietropaoli, LC
Two Priests and a Mic podcaster