"Bear your share of the hardship which the gospel entails." —2 Timothy 1:8
As a baptized child of God, you have a share in the blessings of the gospel (1 Cor 9:23; Eph 1:3). Likewise, you also have a share in the hardship the gospel of Christ requires (2 Tm 1:8).
Jesus in His mercy brings His disciples hope in the midst of hardships. In today's Gospel reading, Jesus takes three disciples up a mountain and allows them to experience His transfigured brilliance and glory (Mt 17:1ff). St. Peter understood this earthly dynamic between glory and suffering. He told us that the spiritual high of Jesus' Transfiguration was a light "shining in a dark place" for all of us who bear gospel hardships (2 Pt 1:16-19). Peter also understood them as a normal part of the gospel. He tells us: "Christ suffered in the flesh; therefore arm yourselves with His same mentality" (1 Pt 4:1).
Our hardships are few compared to those of our ancestors in faith. Abram moved hundreds of miles at age seventy-five (Gn 12:1ff). Mary, the mother of Jesus, suffered many sorrows. Countless disciples have been martyred for the gospel. Most of us have not even endured one of the hardships mentioned in a partial list of St. Paul's sufferings for the gospel (2 Cor 11:23-33). "The present burden of our trial is light enough" (2 Cor 4:17), and the Lord gives us daily strength (2 Tm 1:8) and periodic glimpses of His glory so we can persevere (e.g. Mt 17:2).
"Take courage...says the Lord, and work" for the spread of the gospel (Hg 2:4). "With the strength which comes from God bear your share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (2 Tm 1:8).
Prayer: Father, use my life in service of the gospel (Rm 15:16).
Promise: "God has saved us and has called us to a holy life." —2 Tm 1:9
Praise: Praise Jesus, Who suffered the ultimate rejection and pain for love of us.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2011 through March 31, 2011. †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010.
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