Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community

We Welcome You Wherever You Are On Your Journey

Saint Joan of Arc

Catholic Community

4537 3rd Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
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Phone: 612.823.8205
Fax: 612.825.7028

What If... Reflection by Chris Smith

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.”  Anonymous

In the Roman world, the word “cross” was offensive. Romans insulted each other by using it in graffiti and used it as a curse word against one another. For Roman elites, crucifixion on a cross was rare, but for slaves and members of the lower classes it was quite common and done so for even small offenses. Bodies hanging and dying on crosses along the roads and thoroughfares around Rome served as constant deterrents to slaves considering rebellion. Crucifixion was the most extreme penalty in the Roman world. To die on the cross was not only humiliating, but also a slow and extremely agonizing death.

By the fourth century, the cross had undergone a transformation from a symbol of insult, humiliation, and death to a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ, a symbol of sacrifice, suffering (united with Christ), obedience to God’s will, salvation, love, and hope. Through his suffering, death, and resurrection, Jesus took the most feared, despised, offensive sign the Roman world had and turned it into a symbol of faith, hope, and love.  

I wonder what implications the power of Jesus to transform the meaning of the cross has on our lives this Easter weekend? Could introducing Jesus into our COVID-19 experiences change how we experience this seemingly never-ending pandemic?

COVID-19 may bring to mind fear, anxiety, exhaustion, and even death. When it first became a part of our lives two years ago, we may have felt helpless, hopeless, trapped, or shackled by the coronavirus. Currently, we may be growing anxious, weary, or restless amidst wave after wave of COVID variants. COVID-19 may have changed how, when, and where we interact with one another and may have also altered how we eat, drink, shop, learn, recreate, worship, seek medical care, go to work, etc. COVID-19 has been an “insult” to our way of living and has “offended” how we relate to one another.

What if….?

Imagine if we introduce Jesus more fully into our COVID-19 experience? Could Jesus transform this symbol of fear, anxiety, isolation, and death into a symbol of hope, love, obedience, and sacrifice? What if we let Jesus transform this current “sign of the times” into a new way to look forward?  What if we became the symbol of hope and joy amidst the sickness, worry, and isolation that may be occuring in our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces? What if we took whatever situation we are in and constructed a new way of looking at our lives, built on a foundation of gratitude and a determination to become the people God created us to be? What if this Easter, we unite our sufferings with Christ on the cross and rise to new life with him on Easter Sunday, determined to surrender ourselves to his love and let each new day be a sign of hope? 

What if….?

May your Easter be blessed and filled with joy!