The cross of Jesus, in this fallen world, is what love of God and neighbor leads to and looks like.
Packed away in this short scene is the truth that we too must take up our crosses if we are to love our Heavenly Father and those around us. We can expect ridicule, scorn and sometime even persecution; because Christ-like love often triggers those who have learned to hate and have replaced God with themselves or other things.
If we are really serious in practicing Christian love of God and neighbor we need the power and grace that comes from our crucified Lord and His Precious Wounds.
The Gospel today challenges us to reflect upon our spiritual life. If our love for God is not fully alive within our heart, there is no way that we can love our neighbor in a Christ-like manner.
To attempt loving others apart from God’s grace is to under-estimate the forces of evil that exists in our world. We need God’s grace, through the power of Jesus, and the working of the Holy Spirit, alive in our minds and hearts.
A crucifix hanging in our home should be a daily reminder to us of the ultimate victory of Jesus and also His words: “apart from me, you can do nothing.”
We need to remain active in the Church and receive often its life-giving Sacraments, especially the divine life communicated to us through the holy humanity of Jesus, as we receive worthily His Sacred Body in the Eucharist.