with the suffering jesus
"If we are children, we are heirs as well: heirs of God, heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him so as to be glorified with Him." —Romans 8:17
Jesus is with us (Mt 28:20), and we are with Him. We are with Him in many ways. We are heirs with Him and are glorified with Him "if only we suffer with Him." Everyone wants to be a glorified heir, but are we willing to be a crucified sufferer with Him? Do we miraculously even find joy in sharing in His sufferings? (Col 1:24; 1 Pt 4:13) Do we consider it a privilege not only to believe in Him but also to suffer with and for Him? (Phil 1:29) Do we "consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us?" (Rm 8:18)
Jesus wants to remove many, but not all, sufferings from our lives. Jesus continues to free men and women who have been in the bondage of Satan, shackled (Lk 13:16), drained of strength, and badly stooped for eighteen years (Lk 13:11) or more. Jesus' heart is moved with pity for us (Mt 9:36). By His wounds, Jesus heals us (1 Pt 2:24). However, Jesus does not remove all sufferings. He gives us the opportunity to "fill up what is lacking" in His sufferings "for the sake of His body, the church" (Col 1:24).
Therefore, be healed of many sufferings and also choose to suffer in the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10). Choose to suffer persecution and rejection for the Gospel. Choose fastings, penances, and other sacrifices. Rejoice! You are not suffering alone. You suffer with Him.
Prayer: Jesus, teach me how to share in Your sufferings by being formed into the pattern of Your death (Phil 3:10).
Promise: "You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a Spirit of adoption through Which we cry out, 'Abba!' (that is, 'Father')." —Rm 8:15
Praise: Before receiving Communion, Clare has continued to fast from midnight as a reminder of how much Jesus suffered to give us Himself.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997