Today we continue hearing from the earliest pages of the bible. Even there, we see the cross. Today we hear of the pain of childbirth, the “thorns and the thistles.” I recall a homily in seminary from Fr. Ron Knott. He reminded us future priests that we ought to expect the cross in the priesthood. We don’t go in thinking it will all be green fields and flowers and nice things. There will be pain, there will be the cross. But if we go into it–whether it’s priesthood or marriage or some new job or ministry or whatever–if we go into the thing expecting the cross, then, when it comes, we are not caught off guard. Why? Because we knew the day would come for it. And God will take care not to let us collapse, as the text of our Gospel today assures.