Thursday, February 18
Jesus said to his disciples: "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised." Then he said to all, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?"
Reflections on Today's Gospel
The potential for suffering is present every moment of life. Our tendency is to flee from it, to avoid it. This holds true from the small scratch we get when we first fall off our bicycle to the profound sorrow we feel when a friend betrays us or we lose someone we love.
When we feel pain, many of us take every means in our power to get rid of it. In today’s society, there is a medicine to alleviate any pain or suffering we might feel. Yet, in every suffering, there is a lesson, and we remember the lesson better when we have suffered to learn it.
Christ foresaw his rejection, suffering, and death, yet did not flee them. He embraced them as a way of showing his most profound love. A love that easily lives in us when we embrace it. It is what family, friends and strangers do when they serve without counting the cost. It is what we do when we help someone in need.
Jesus knew and knows that there is a joy in every battle. Just as there is happiness in suffering and suffering in happiness. You cannot have one without ever experiencing the other. For those who truly make Christ a part of their every day life, the bads are not so bad because they see the good in them.