Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119)
Suffering is an element of human life, whether by pain, rejection, abandonment, or loss of any kind. The difference between the suffering of Jesus and my own suffering is its intensity over a 36 hour period, and his obedience to the mercy of God at every turn. Jesus suffered the pain of torture inflicted by the henchmen of first Annas, then Caiaphas, and then King Herod, and finally by the sadistic soldiers of the Roman governor. Jesus was rejected by his own people, many of whom had family members he had healed. He was abandoned not only by the general populace who chose the release of the murderer, Barabas, over Jesus and called together for his crucifixion, but also by 11 out of the 12 men in his close circle of disciples. His losses included not only property and friends and family members but also his own dignity, bodily function and in the end, his life. But the deepest difference between Jesus’ suffering and my own suffering is his obedience to the Mercy of God through what he suffered. Throughout his unjust trial and judgments he did not retaliate but let injustice take its empty course. In his pain he did not wail and complain but continued to heal others and to bear witness to God’s grace. In his rejection and abandonment he did not plead his cause or hurl insults, but rather prayed for his persecutors, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” Even nailed to a cross and praying through the searing pain of breathing Jesus kept his focus on God’s opera of the ‘Salvation of Humankind’ and commended all of his Spirit to God, choosing to carry out God’s will to the end, until “It is finished”. In my suffering will I, like Jesus, have the courage and the love for God and for humanity to be obedient to God’s way of Mercy no matter what I suffer? Christ Jesus, teach me obedience through what I suffer.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord. (Psalm 31:24 )
Sin is believing the lie that you are self-created, self-dependent and self-sustained. St. Augustine of Hippo
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Soli ad gloriam Dei
Beverly Illauq lives in Kemptville, Ontario, where she greets each morning by seeking the Gospel Mystery of the Day - the Word of the Lord for direct and practical application to the specific challenges & joys of the day.