Have you ever noticed in the Apostles’ Creed how quickly we pass over the earthly life of our Lord? Born, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, rose from the dead. We say nothing about the beatitudes, nothing about miracles. Just he was born, suffered, died and rose again. Just those three. That’s all there is in life. We’re born; the earthly life is passed over, because all that matters concerning an earthly life is whether we are doing the will of God. And then, resurrection.
First, we are born to Christ in baptism. Remember that our Lord was born into a sinful, sorrowful humanity. If we follow him as a rule of life, we are born into that kind of a world: the poor, the afflicted, the sick, the ignorant. That is why Jesus’ birth was in a stable. He identified with the poor. Here is the second great commandment: love thy neighbor. The fundamental reason for loving our neighbor is because we’re born into the same humanity that our Lord was born into, and we must help redeem it.
Second, he suffered and was crucified. We suffer. Our Lord said, “In this world you will have tribulation.” We are given crosses. We bear the cross for him and with him, recalling always what he did for us.
And finally, he rose from the dead. Scripture says of our blessed Lord, “having joy set before him, he endured the cross.” That means that in any kind of trial which we have, there should be a hidden gladness. Why? Because we’re assured of the resurrection. Even though God does send us some kind of trial, if we’ve borne his cross, we can be absolutely sure of the crown.