Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.
A little story. At first I thought some highway construction workers had started a bonfire. But as I approached the exit ramp, I saw that it was a car going up in flames. The sight of it shocked me. I was concerned that someone may have been in the car. The car in front of me slowed down and stopped. As I slowed down, the driver behind me began to beep at me. I ignored them. Cautiously, I tried to get to the side of the road, but there was no shoulder I could hug. The driver behind me kept beeping at me. I knew they wanted to get past me but how could I leave this scene? I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed the young driver pointing at me to get out of their way. I tried, but there just wasn’t enough room on the road. When I saw the driver in front of me take out their cell phone and call, I assumed they were calling the police. At that moment, I decided to leave the scene. But I left mad. I couldn’t believe the driver behind me.
So once we got on the open road, I slowed down and allowed the other driver to pass by me. As they approached, I looked over to my left and the driver gave me the middle finger. I turned on the light inside my car and let them see I was wearing a collar. The driver’s jaw dropped.
Who Is My Cross? Well lo and behold, this morning I read the headline to an amazing story in the NY Daily News: “Miracle in Miami.”
Traffic on busy Dolphin Expressway (Miami, Florida) came to a complete standstill around 2:30 p.m. when Pamela Rauseo got out of her car and began screaming for help. Her 5-month-old nephew, Sebastian, had stopped breathing. Lucila Godoy, of Miami, left her 3-year-old son in her car to help Rauseo perform CPR. Miami Herald photographer Al Diaz stopped right behind Rauseo and jumped out of his car. He jogged through traffic lanes to summon more help and found Sweetwater police Officer Amauris Bastidas, who ran to the scene and took over CPR from Godoy. Capt. Anthony Trim and Lt. Alvaro Tonanez with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s hazardous materials unit – also stuck in traffic – jumped out of their separate cars and ran to help. By the time they got to the scene the baby was breathing – but barely. Miami Fire Rescue arrived moments later and rushed the child to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s pediatric unit. The baby is in stable condition.
Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.”
The cross is not so much a “what” but a “who.” Who is my cross? Who am I to carry? According to Christ’s life, it is our neighbors and our enemies.
The Lord has called all Christians to carry the burden of their neighbor’s pains and worries; to forget for a moment themselves and their things, and focus on someone else and their needs.
I’m so glad Pamela Rauseo stopped her car in the middle of traffic. I’m so glad people were listening. But I do wonder: Was anyone beeping? (0)