We may think Jesus–or we ourselves– could “pay” for our sins, but God’s grace is not given in exchange for anything. It’s just a gift. When we see that, we ourselves may begin to overturn some moneylender’s tables.
To “take up your cross” is to be willing to suffer for love, and to enter into the world’s pain. Because we believe ourselves to be love and not just bodies, we trust God will give us life even as we pour ourselves out– because to love is truly to be alive.
Ever said, “I don’t know what got into me?” Repentance- our special focus in the season of Lent-is not getting down on yourself. It’s facing the things that “get into you” and getting free of them, so that you can be yourself.
The light with which Jesus shone in the Transfiguration, the glory of God, is not just splendor. It’s compassion. We shine with that light when we live in love for others, especially those who are hurting.
When Jesus calls us, “Follow me,” it’s an invitation to discern what God is doing in our lives (or our church) and stay close to that. Jesus may call us to a new life, but he always invites us deeper into this life.
Anna and Simeon had different styles and spiritual disciplines, but they both were watching for the holy, and ready to greet the miraculous in the Christ child. Our calling is to watch for the holy in everyone, and honor it.