"They failed, however, to understand this warning; its meaning was so concealed from them they did not grasp it at all, and they were afraid to question Him about the matter." —Luke 9:45
Jesus will give us the privilege of undergoing redemptive suffering in our lives. Redemptive suffering is not just having pain, being sick, or having problems, but suffering in the pattern of Jesus' death (Phil 3:10). Redemptive suffering especially refers to persecution, sacrifice, and rejection for the sake of the gospel. Redemptive suffering is our greatest opportunity to build God's kingdom, lead people to Jesus, and express our love for the Lord.
Jesus is talking to us about redemptive suffering because it is such a gift and joy to suffer for Him (see 1 Pt 4:13) and because we need to be prepared for this suffering. Without this preparation, we may reject it and thereby miss out on one of the most important parts of our lives. Many of us are so afraid of suffering we don't want it even mentioned. When Jesus mentions it anyway, we are so afraid that we drop the subject and don't "question Him about the matter" (Lk 9:45).
We should question Jesus: "Why am I so afraid to suffer for You?", "Which sufferings are unnecessary and which sufferings are redemptive?", and "How should I be preparing to suffer?"
Prayer: Father, may I find joy in the sufferings I endure for You and the Church (Col 1:24).
Promise: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." —Eccl 12:1
Praise: St. Vincent sacrificially gave of himself in service to the Church through sixty years in the priesthood.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 25, 2008
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