Spirituality of Suffering
Friday, December 1, 2017
34th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Dn 7:2-14
Gospel: Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples this comparison, “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. As soon as their buds sprout, you know that summer is already near. In the same way, as soon as you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly, I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all this has happened: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Yesterday’s Gospel enumerated the catastrophic signs signaling the end. Today’s Gospel shifts the focus from the disaster to the glorious coming of God’s kingdom. “As soon as you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” It concludes with the assurance that God’s Word will triumph in the end. “This generation will not pass away, until all this has happened: heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” The same pattern of passion, death and resurrection is at work here. Those who make it through the passion will receive the gift of resurrection. This is God’s promise and God will honor it because His words will never pass away. We can therefore almost always predict victory from sufferings.
In our life experience however we encounter prolonged passions without any indication that a resurrection is soon to come. There could be two reasons. One is that God’s time hasn’t come. He makes all things beautiful but he does so in his time. A second reason could be that the suffering being endured is the result of comeuppance, described as suffering resulting from one’s own evil deeds. This is not covered by God’s promise of resurrection because the passion that comeuppance engenders is fruit of one’s evil deeds.
The remedy of people losing hope over the delay of the promised victory in what they suffer is union with God. When one unites his sufferings with the Suffering Christ, the burden feels lighter in God’s grace. Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me…For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11: 29-30)
The remedy of those who suffer comeuppance is to abandon their evil deeds. God will take this firm resolve as authority to intervene and guide the direction of events so that in the end the person comes out unharmed. God, the respecter of human freedom, will just pretend to be sleeping at the corner of the same boat and show his might only when asked. When he does, he makes all things new!
With the foregoing remedies, we can almost always conclude victory from sufferings. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM, Email: email@example.com.
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