BEADS OF JOY 3-07-12 “His Readiness To Suffer”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Lenten Season – Day 13
This is beyond the truth; this is one of the things Jesus willingly did for us; to show us how much He loves us. Jesus definitely accepted the pain, the suffering and the sorrow involved with His journey and mission to save all of us. Not only did He accept all of this, but He was very ready for it and knew it to be throughout His ministry. "And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:22-23. Jesus was to be born to die, to defeat death for us. We to, must also suffer with Him. Not only because we are following Him; but even more so, because we want to be like Him. "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13.
For us to be able to suffer like Him is but a blessing. Some of us do have a challenge grasping that, and of cause that makes sense. I guess fully being able to grab hold of the entire concept does take time, and much prayer. Jesus is a true man of sorrows. He deliberately chose this path long before He was even born. "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" John 8:58. Just as Jesus knew us all individually long before we were ever born. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you," Jeremiah 1:5. But we to must suffer like Him, we must never deny Him before anyone, denying Him will only make our eternity dark and distant from Him. "But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:33, "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." Luke 9:26-27.
What is our faith, but the whole sum of what the cross was and is, and what it fully stands for. It was through the very cross that we have been saved by His suffering. Jesus tells us that we are to be like Him. "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters yes, even his own life he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-27. Let us boldly, bravely follow Him. Nothing else in this world can or will ever save us. It is only through the pain, suffering and sorrow that our dear Lord has endured that will in the end save us.
The kind of suffering we can look forward to and embrace may vary for each of us. I have spent the past 29 years of my life doing all I can to stay as fully focused on Jesus as I possibly can. I am not afraid to deal with any suffering for Him. Pride, and selfishness and whatever it is "I" want must be put aside. He tells us, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16. Scripture is our guide, we need to embrace God's word and always return to His guidance in our lives. He alone will save us. "On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Matthew 10:18-20. Hold strong, we can do it all with Him. "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4
Today's Challenge: Unselfishness. This will require great devotion to our Lord. Today I say this. Put down all that you embrace that tie and hold you to this earth (meaning hobbies, possessions, treasures). Take up the Cross of Christ that you so fear will bring you pain, embrace it, look up at Him and follow Him. The sting of the nails are but a blessing. I mean that respectfully, the nails are our crosses that we carry through life.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS