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Messiah: Take Up Your Cross Each Day and Follow Me

Messiah: Take Up Your Cross Each Day and Follow Me

Why pray?  |  Healing the family

Last week, Holy Cross Family Ministries celebrated our annual Healing Mass. We all need healing in one way or another, and we are grateful for those who could attend as well as those who were with us in spirit. You all contribute to making our ministry a beautiful community, where faith and friendship grow. Here is my homily from the event.


Stat Crux Dum Volvitur Orbis. Freely translated: The Cross of our Lord Jesus stands firm while the world spins out of control due to hurricanes, illness, scandals, and more.

All of us come here today hoping and praying for healing for others, for ourselves, for our world, and for our Church. So I have a serious question to pose.

  • Does healing really happen today or did all healing take place in the days of Jesus, in the Bible?
  • Are our prayers for healing just a way of channeling our hopes?
  • Have you ever seen a healing or experienced healing yourself?

To answer these questions, I would ask you to do four things:

  • First, focus on the Cross. Christian life centers on the Cross. On Friday September 14th, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Cross. In the congregation of Holy Cross, “Spes Unica,”is our motto, the Cross is our only hope for salvation.
  • Second, believe in Mary’s devotion. On Saturday we celebrated Our Lady of Sorrows, the Patronal Feast of Holy Cross. All of us live under the special care of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, a woman who bore much she could not understand, but who stood fast.
  • Third, inside the worship aides on page 2. This is an experience of healing from Venerable Patrick Peyton: “One of my former teachers heard the bad news and hurried to visit me. He saw me at my worst—discouraged, depressed, hopeless. His words were the most important ever spoken to me. ‘Mary is alive,’ he said. ‘She will be as good to you as you think she can be. It all depends on you and your faith.’ That night he activated my dormant faith. It was like setting a match to a haystack sprinkled with gasoline. …I asked her {Mary} with all my heart and soul to pray to her son for my cure. Like the dark night that is replaced by the dawn and the dawn by the sun, she brought me back to life.”
  • Fourth, think of the man with the withered hand from the September 10th Gospel. Healed by Jesus. The hundreds and hundreds of crutches, canes, wheelchairs at Lourdes in France and at Saint Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal and the prayers of Saint Andre Bessette for healing.

Yakov Smirnoff is a comedian from Russia. When he first came to the United States from Russia he was not prepared for the incredible variety of instant products available in American supermarkets. He says, "On my first shopping trip with my friend, I saw milk powder; you just add hot water, and you get milk. Then I saw orange powder; you just add cold water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, ‘What a country, you add water to a tin of powder and get a baby!’" Smirnoff was joking, but what we do not have is any kind of Christian instant healing product.

Jesus immediately responds to Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, that he himself must suffer, die and rise from the dead. Then he says, “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)

No cheap grace here! Bishop Barron reminds us that Faith is the door that leads to the house of the Lord. Faith is primary and is always the movement of God into our lives. But it demands a response, we must enter the house and live there with the Lord as a member of his household. Faith is perfected in works of love. It is not enough to be at the door. We must enter and live according to the law of love, caring for our neighbor. “So also, faith of itself, if it does not have works is dead.” (James 2:17)

The great healing of all physical, spiritual, and emotional wounds and sin takes place through the free grace of God and our free response to that grace in faith and a life well-lived in the Household of the Lord.

There is no cheap grace here. This grace and our salvation were purchased for us by the very Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.

  • He wants so much to bring healing to fallen humanity that he dies for it.
  • He wants so much to bring spiritual healing to each one of us here that he dies for it.
  • He wants so much to bring what is the very best for our individual and communal salvation that he dies for it.
  • Like Venerable Patrick Peyton, trust in God’s grace that is free but not cheap.
  • Like Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, trust enough to say over and over again, “Fiat:” Let it be according to your will, Lord.

The Cross stands firm even if the whole world should spin out of control.

About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.