May our troubles lead us closer to God...
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 25, 2019): IS 66:18-21; PS 117:1,2; HEB 12:5-7,11-13; LK 13:22-30
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
No one goes through life without suffering of some kind.
Whether through the loss of loved ones, sickness, deprivation or any other kind of hardship, we endure pain, whether for a short time or over a prolonged period. We must not let ourselves fall into the trap of seeing these as forms of punishment. Ours is an imperfect world and we are flawed people. Sometimes, we make mistakes and commit sins – and so do those around us. Sometimes, problems in our communities or countries or the natural world can cause great harm. But God is always with us, supporting and teaching us, when we open ourselves to His will. If we entrust ourselves to God, we will learn to follow the way of His Son. “God treats you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?… At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it” (Hebrews 12:7, 11).
Jesus suffered and yet forgave those who tormented Him. Jesus was gentle and understanding, offering mercy to those in need. Jesus always put the will of His Father before anything else. Surely, we must be willing to do the same. We must allow the goodness and holiness of our Lord to grow within us through prayer and cooperation with His grace. Then we will be worthy to be called His children now and throughout eternity.
Suggested missionary action: We can take time this week to think about some difficulty or hurt in our life and the way it has affected us. We can consider what we have learned and, hopefully, how we have grown through perseverance and trust in God.