Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Suffering is part of being alive. We are called in life to love. But to love is also to suffer. Knowing our human tendency to avoid pain and suffering, our Lord reminded his followers of the inevitability of suffering in life and the relationship between love and pain. The ancient Chinese in some way understood this reality. That is why like the Greeks of old, they have more than one word for love. One such word could also be translated as pain. Even if pain and suffering are essential elements in the reality of living and loving, joy and contentment are as much part of loving and living. However, the meaning of carrying one's cross is not just bearing our burdens or sufferings, it has a mission part. Loving is very much the mission of the cross. We learn the value of being human beings created to love and be loved and that makes sharing Christ's yoke light because as we participate in that mission we are being redeemed from our sinful inclinations. As our Lord Jesus had said the Son of Man must suffer and die but on the third day will be raised to life. This is a great consolation for all of us who are suffering one way or another. Our Lenten practices are reminders for us that to be able to live and love as followers of our Lord, we have to die to our selfish desires. But we can all look forward with hope for we all know that the resurrection of our Lord follows after his passion and death. Even so, when we are faced with setbacks and various forms of suffering in our lives, can we still have the joy and hope of Easter in our hearts? On the other hand, given a choice, shall we choose the rough and difficult road which is the way God wants us to take to be able to reach him? Or shall we choose the easy and smooth road leading us away from the Lord?