Many puzzles greet our every day.  When things seem thoroughly fine, troubles start up somewhere. Why?  When a serious concern is just about to end, a string of new problems emerge to follow it. Why? Life today, for young and old alike, is riddled with constant trials.  Last week I encountered a little boy struggling with his life in the hospital, a young man beset with family problems, and an old man who must prepare for the end.
In the midst of all these, as Christians we turn to the Lord, as the writer of the book of Wisdom (Ch. 9) also did. And yet, there does not surface an immediate answer to our puzzle and our interior questioning. “Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what our Lord intends?”
In fact, God’s tacit reply to man’s frantic question involves still further puzzles.  In saving the world, why did His Son, Jesus, have to carry the cross to his death?  And why would Jesus, in offering new life, suggest that we go through the same cross as the way to be his disciple (Luke 14)? After long hours in prayer, and many tears before the altar, why are our shoulders still sore from our crosses?  St. Teresa understood that the cross was to be the experience of God’s friends. And she complained why God had to treat His friends like this.
We have so many questions because we have so many sufferings to confront each day. While we grope for answers, God actually gives the answers. In our first reading today (Wisdom 9), we find the solution to our puzzles through “wisdom” and the “holy spirit,” “sent from on high.”  In the New Testament, this Wisdom is Jesus Christ and this spirit, is the Spirit of the Living and Powerful Lord. Through them, God reveals His mind and heart to us.
Listening to Jesus and attentive to the Spirit, the Cross and our daily crosses, appear not as penalty or irritating burdens, but as love!  The Cross, amazingly becomes a discipline to purify our lives from too much self-absorption. And yes, how on earth do we find success, except after an experience of the cross?  Without the cross, the world will not know comfort. 
Spiritually, without the Cross, will we remember to call on God?  Without the Cross, will we be compassionate to the cry of another?  Without the Cross, will we be challenged to fight and grow?
The Virgin Mary’s birthday comes around this time of the year.  This is a woman scarred by the Cross, the many crosses of her life. Poor, widowed, victimized, sonless, suffering – like Jesus, she had to pass through the Cross. But in doing so, she did not rebel. She reflected.  And after the Cross, came her glory.
What cross are you carrying in your life today? Is there any suffering whose meaning escapes you? Like the Blessed Mother, humbly ask for God’s Wisdom and His Holy Spirit, so that you will understand, accept, triumph and enter into glory!