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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What is your understanding of suffering? How do you trust that any suffering you endure actually furthers the work of the Gospel? - Daily Reflections September 8,2015


GOD WANTS THE BEST FOR ALL
 
Today’s text complements yesterday’s First Reading wherein Paul tells us that God works everything that happens in our lives for our good. Do you believe that He can and do this? Is this your experience? The answer has to do with our faith, and particularly the way we face life’s various experiences.
       Today, many believe in one or other variant of the prosperity Gospel — that is, if we have faith in God, we will experience only His blessings. There is a certain truth in this but only if we understand that God’s blessings often come in very mysterious ways, including suffering. He can use any of our experiences and turn it into a blessing through His grace. This does not mean that we will never suffer or have to endure hardship for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I get extremely annoyed when I have to debunk this aspect of the prosperity Gospel — that true Christians never suffer. It is blasphemy and disrespect of the highest degree to the many, if not all of us, who at one time or another will suffer through no fault or sin of our own.
       The nature of sin is that it is unjust. My sin can affect you in horrible ways and cause you untold suffering. This experience of suffering has nothing to do with your faith, its strength or otherwise. Paul affirms in today’s reading that God will work every experience of our lives towards good if we fully entrust our lives to Him. Believe it or not, there are many saints who desired suffering to identify with Jesus’ suffering. If Jesus suffered, then surely there must be a place for suffering in our own lives. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
 
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is your understanding of suffering? How do you trust that any suffering you endure actually furthers the work of the Gospel?
 
Jesus, help me to embrace suffering as You did, knowing that when I join my suffering with Yours, it actually becomes redemptive and a source of life for others.

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