He Has Drawn the Sign of the Cross on All Things

In today’s Epistle reading for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass (Ephesians 3:13-21), St. Paul tells the Christians in Ephesus that he prays for Christ our Lord to dwell in the hearts of believers. Why?

So that believers may understand with all the Saints in heaven, “what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth” of God’s love for us. It is as if St. Paul is using the dimensions of the Cross as a way to describe the completeness of Our Lord’s love for us in that it embraces and redeems all of the “dimensions” of this world. St. Paul reminds us that Our Lord has drawn His Cross on all created things to the point of giving us more for our own good than we would ever even think of asking.

This drawing of the Cross on all creation is demonstrated in the sufferings and difficulties that we experience in our lives. Since becoming a Catholic, I understand that these events have a special meaning in my life.  These difficulties and challenges are those gifts that the Lord gives us without asking which give us the opportunities to grow in virtue and love.

In fact, I was reminded after thinking about this Epistle reading today of those times that I have prayed to Our Lord and have asked the Lord to take away some difficulty in this life that bothers me whether it is a physical ailment or some other “thorn” and the answer has been either “no” or “not yet.”

This Epistle reading reminded me that in these cases Our Lord has something better in mind for me and that Our Lord is asking me to persevere in whatever suffering He chooses to allow in my life. It is my Cross. The one He has drawn for me in this life to lead me, and others, to our place in His Kingdom so that we may become more like Him and learn to love like He loves in our own very small, but with the help of God, meaningful way.

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