The Cross, The Mountain And The Key

 As I was listening to today's second reading at Mass today (Phil. 3:17~4:1), the one line that seemed to grab hold of me was: "...but our citizenship is in heaven." I almost wanted to tell the lector to stop right there, I just want to sit with that awhile. Of course I did no such thing, but I have returned to that piece of Scripture since hearing it, or perhaps I should say it has returned to me.
Yes, our citizenship is in heaven, but as Jesus shows His Apostles and each of us, we can't attain that citizenship without the cross. Jesus had His Cross; we each have our own.
Jesus' cross was always before Him. He tried to prepare His Apostles for what was soon to come. They, like me, don't always want to hear what my Lord is saying. I sometimes find myself saying to Jesus, "You can't be serious. You really want me to go through this?!"
The experience Peter, James and John had on Mt. Tabor, for them, was one of great joy and excitement; so much so that Peter wants to build some tents and stay there. As if to say, "Lord don't let this moment end. We don't have to go back down this mountain. You don't have to go to Jerusalem and go through all that awaits You there, and we won't have to watch You go through it. " Sometimes I find myself saying similar words to Our Lord. "Lord just let me stay here at Mass or here in this chapel before You in the Blessed Sacrament. If I stay here I won't have to deal with my crosses." But of course Mass ends or I do have to leave the chapel.
Just as I think Jesus gave those three Apostles the privilege of that mountaintop moment to help them bear what was to come, He gives me and each of us our own moments on the mountain. Whenever He does give them to me, I always pray: "Lord it is good that I have been here. Having been in Your Presence, may I not come down from the mountain the same way I went up, but reflect more of Your image."
When I look at my life, I can see there have been crosses and there will continue to be crosses. The mountain top moments remind me of that citizenship that God has promised me. Those moments strengthen and restore me so that I can continue to carry the crosses He gives me.
During the Last Supper, as Jesus' Cross comes closer, He tells His Apostles that He goes to prepare a place for them, that in His Father's house there are many mansions. (John 14:1~4)
That promise is for us as well, but I believe that in this life as we travel the road to our heavenly home, Jesus puts a key in each of our hands. Our key, in the form of our crosses, is different from anyone else's. It is the key to our "mansion" that Jesus has prepared for us. It is the key to that heavenly citizenship that St Paul speaks of in today's reading.
I guess it could be said that Jesus, in His Cross, had the "master key" that unlocked the gates of heaven.  However, in order to gain entrance to that particular place He has prepared for me, I need to accept that cross~shaped key He offers.
So I will continue to travel the road,  cross~key in hand, taking respite in those occasional mountain top moments.
See you on the mountain, and by God's grace, one day in heaven.

Have a Blessed Sunday!


Michael said…
Thanks to your post, I got to return to the readings from today and spend more time with them. I love the analogies you have woven into this post. Just great.

God Bless.
Anne said…
The key to heaven is our cross! What a great perspective!
Karinann said…
Thanks everyone. Glad you all got something from today's reflection.
Colleen said…
So beautiful!! I love it!
Karinann said…
Thanks Colleen. Glad you liked it.
ls said…
Very good reflection and reminder for me. All too often I just try to wish my crosses away. God Bless!
Karinann said…
Thanks Lynn- so do I, this was a good reminder for me as well.
Very nice!!! Thank you. :)