Have you seen this picture around the web? It has been shared thousands of times on social media, major news outlets, and newspapers. The story is of a little girl with her family, when they were praying the Stations of the Cross. When she saw that Jesus had fallen she said, “Oh no, Jesus needs help.” So, she proceeded to go over to the cross and with all her might, muster up the strength to help Him. Of course, she probably grew frustrated quickly with how hard that task became.
And, it is a hard task. Would we have run to Jesus to help Him with the Cross?
Without hesitation, the child saw Jesus in need. I would imagine if the child saw anyone else with that cross she would run to help them, as well. Jesus dying for us and resurrecting to new life is not the only lesson here. We should step up, without hesitation, to help the face of Jesus around us. When one of us is in need, we help. When one of us needs prayers, we pray. When one of us needs a collection, we give. Everyone is carrying a different cross. The Easter message challenges us to jump in and help pick up the Cross. Will you do it?
Stewardship provides us a great framework for this challenge. This may be a silly story, but my five year old daughter and I discussed tithing last week because of the show, “American Idol.” She was really fond of one particular artist named, Kai. The young singer had a beautiful voice, but she also had a story of homelessness. One could see that she had a very heavy cross. She had to make an appeal to her Church to take up a collection for her to be able to afford “Hollywood Week,” which was the next stop in her American Idol journey. On the show you see a scene of church- goers generously donating to this fund and all of them coming together around their fellow member. My daughter saw the money in a golden offering plate and said, “I do that too! Does our church send people to American Idol?” I couldn’t help but laugh, and of course explain to her that no, not necessarily. It isn’t an obligation for us to give, it is a blessing to be able too. It is a life lesson that when one of us needs help, we all are here to pitch in. Some day we may need to “withdraw” from the basket ourselves. We may need sacramental help, spiritual direction, help with a family funeral, fellowship or formation. Contributing to the basket isn’t about the money, but the Mission. Challenge yourself in the Easter season to consider three things every-time the offertory goes around: how can I pray more, give more, and serve more in order to help carry the Cross?
The Easter message for us is one of joy, excitement, and action. How will we respond to the message of the resurrection? What will you do next, now that the tomb is empty?
Katie Price is the Coordinator for Discipleship and Stewardship at the Cathedral.