Suffering, A Concrete Expression of Love

Dear friend,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

(Gospel today: The Tansfiguration – Lk: 9:28b-32, 33b-35)

In Lk. 9:29, Jesus’ face was changed and his clothing became “sparkling white”. This symbolizes the transcendence of Jesus – His Divinity!!

“And a voice came from the CLOUD saying, ‘This is my SON, the CHOSEN ONE. LISTEN TO HIM.’” (Lk. 9:35)

The cloud, just like fire and smoke/incense represents God’s presence, also called as “Shekinah.” Remember how God, in the old testament, provided for His people a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire during the night.

“Shekinah.”

So, God gave a revelation of who Jesus is. He said, “This is my Son, the Chosen One.”

Jesus, the Son, is the Chosen One who will reunite with the Father BY WAY OF THE CROSS.

“…The Son of Man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.” (Lk. 9:22)

To be put to death.

THERE IS NO GLORY OF RESURRECTION WITHOUT HIS PASSION AND DEATH.

There will be no salvation without His cross. There will be no victory without His sufferings. This is love.

One of our lecturers in DLSHSI, Dra. Maria Luisa D. Delacruz, flashed this in one of her PowerPoint presentations before:

The greatest symbol of LOVE is not the “heart” but the CROSS…

Sa kasamaang palad, yung iba sa atin, ang gusto lang ay ang maging masaya. Ayaw nating tingnan ang mga pagpapakasakit na kailangang pagdaanan bago lumigaya. Hindi pwede ‘yon.

SUFFERING IS A CONCRETE EXPRESSION OF LOVE.

To ask why we must suffer is to ask why we must love. The answer: “Let us love, then, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)” Moreover, since we are created in the image of God, and God is love, then, it is our nature to love.

Suffering is relatively easy to understand even if it’s hard to bear.

When a mother stays up all night, depriving herself of sleep, in order to care for a sick child, she is carrying his burden, suffering so that some of his suffering might be alleviated.

Here is another example: St. Maximilian Kolbe. When a prisoner escaped from Auschwitz in the summer of 1942, the Nazi soldiers took all the prisoners from the escapees’ barracks, lined them up and randomly chose a man to be put to death in retaliation. The man broke down in tears, protesting that he was the father of young children. A quiet bespectacled man, Maximilian Kolbe, stepped forward and said, “I am a Catholic priest; I have no family. I would like to die in this man’s place.” Here, he consciously participated in the act of his Master, as in St. Paul’s words,

“It makes me happy to be suffering for you now, and in my own body to make up all the hardships that still have to be undergone by Christ for the sake of His body, the Church,” (Col. 1:24)
Prayer & Reflection Points:

– Are you willing to suffer or make sacrifices for the sake of love?

– Are you willing to bear an insult and not fight back for the sake of love?

– Do you have a “cross” in your life right now? How you feel about it? Do you resent or embrace this cross?

– Your work, your sufferings, the challenges you are facing (yes!! even the difficulties in studying for the upcoming exams!!) – offer them up to God. Do it for the sake of love.

Sincerely,

Kristine G. Veneracion

20 February 2016

Sources:
Fr. Manny David’s homily, Bishop Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflection, DGems, Dra. Delacruz’ ppt slide

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