Sacrificing, re-prioritizing, putting others first – that’s one thing. But what about when others sacrifice for you? Accepting the sacrifice of others may be just as great a feat, if not greater, than making a sacrifice yourself. Because when someone sacrifices on your behalf, they are re-organizing their own priorities, shifting their own perspective – they are naming you as the “something else”, the something greater than themselves. And as self-centered as we all can be, there is still something deep down inside each one of us that resists the possibility that we could actually be worth it.
Think about the last time someone sacrificed for you in a significant way. Did you recognize what was happening – the shift that was taking place within that person – for you? Did you allow this to happen? Did you accept the gift? Were you a part of that persons’ transformation, a part of that person’s emergence from the cocoon of themselves?
Now let’s think about the sacrifice of the Cross. From the Cross, Jesus has named you as the “something else”, the something greater. You are the pearl of great price, worth selling all he had. This was his desire, his choice: “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down” (Jn. 10:18).
This is the other side of the coin of sacrifice. From within the shelter of our own cocoons, we have the dangerous ability to empty the Cross of its power. We have the power to nullify its grace. Accepting the love, the grace, the power of this great sacrifice is an enormous spiritual feat. We can only do it from the foot of the Cross, with the recognition that we need him, and that he wouldn’t have it any other way.