Fifth Sunday of Lent

Our burdens lead to life

‘In all truth I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains only a single grain; but if it dies it yields a rich harvest.’ John 12:24

Each of us has a burden to carry; if not today’s burden, at least to recall yesterday’s, or prepare inevitably for some burden tomorrow, for that is the way of life. There is no human life that does not have its burdens. Much of our lives is indeed the way of the cross, or at least it is so at times.

That burden may be a sorrow, or an anxiety; a broken heart; a secret fear; a chronic pain; a disappointment; a frustration; a wound from the past. Burdens take different shapes and are of varying weights but they have this in common: they press hard on us causing us sometimes to falter and stumble. They make our journey through life more difficult and perhaps at times seemingly impossible and lead us to wonder about the meaning and purpose of it all. That is, until we remember that the burdens we carry always lead to life, life hidden with Christ in God.

All those burdens we carry are crosses which he asks us to carry, and we carry our crosses through life as he carried his. We meet him in a marvellous manner when we help him to carry his burden and he helps us to carry ours.

The sharing of his Passion is the most certain way of growing closer to him and a sure way too of discovering the meaning of the resurrection, the knowledge that whatever befalls us, whatever happens, we can never be separated from love of him.

Lord, help me to remember that whatever happens I can never be separated from your love.

We pray for all those who are burdened – that the Centre will be able to share their load.

Reflection by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB – originally in ‘A Turning to God’, edited by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly (DLT 2007), used with permission