Christ’s suffering is a lasting gift to humanity

The suffering of Christ on the cross is both a “once and for all” event and a reality that transcends space and time. If one who has faith in Christ enters into suffering, facing it squarely, straight on, he experiences a union with Christ’s saving action. It is almost something that defies explanation. It’s like discovering a beautiful treasure that has been left behind personally for you–that has been waiting for you to arrive and pry it out of the ground. It sounds ludicrous, but it is soul-expanding, to the extreme. The highest form of love in this fallen world is the giving of mercy. Christ was–is–Divine Mercy incarnate. He holds out to us the opportunity to experience this highest form of love. When we suffer for another, absorbing their scorn and rejection and confusion, we are elevated. Christ’s words, that those who humble themselves shall be exalted, take on their most accurate meaning.
Indeed, it is simultaneously humbling and amazing. You know that you are not good enough to suffer like this, to pray passionately like this, love mercifully like this! You come to realize that Christ is suffering with you, praying in you, and loving through you. This must be what is meant by saying, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”.
In the final analysis, what happens here happens repeatedly throughout the Christian life: life is shown to be upside-down. The distance between appearance and reality is yet again found to be so very much greater than we had ever imagined.
“Surprise: That man is God.”
“Surprise: That bread is now Jesus Christ.”
“Surprise: That group of sinful, bumbling people is the Mystical Body of Christ.”
“Surprise: Suffering seems to be something to flee from, but as it turns out you end up fleeing from Christ!”

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This entry was posted in Beatitudes, Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, Fortitude (Courage), Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Grace, Mourning, Persecuted for the sake of Righteousness, Poor in Spirit, Power of God, Rosary, Show Mercy, Sorrowful Mysteries, Suffering, The Meek, Understanding and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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