Tuesday 17 November 2015

Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent

I remember a time when life was so much different in the old days. In those days, many of the things we are so used to having nowadays did not exist, or were still quite new and not so advanced in usage and function, or were even too expensive to own. For example, we are so used to handphones and things like texting, whatsapp, viber, skype, facebook and so many conveniences which have changed the way people communicate today. In the old days, handphones were too bulky to carry around easily, or in some places did not exist, and people could communicate only by using a dialing phone at home if they were fortunate to have one, or face to face.

While it may seem as if such ways of communicating back then were inconvenient, the good thing about then is that, to a certain extent, we could build better relationships and friendships as we communicated, since more often than not we communicated face to face, and we could get a better and clearer understanding of the other person, since we could also observe things like body language, facial expressions and other cues.

The problem is, as we progress and attain more and more conveniences, we begin to be less and less tolerant towards pain, suffering, waiting, discomfort and other experiences. But are such pain, suffering, waiting, discomfort and other experiences good or bad? Even though initially such experiences may seem to be bad, we could actually learn and benefit from them, since such experiences help us to slow down, to take care, and to look at life in a different way.

In today's reading, the prophet Jeremiah asked the Lord to deliver him from his adversaries and from suffering. Likewise in the gospel, James and John wanted the glory, but Jesus asked them if they could take the suffering as well. The suffering that the prophet Jeremiah endured, and the suffering that James and John would face, may seem bad, but actually we can see goodness in such suffering, since such suffering reminds us of who we are, and how much we really need to depend on God and in His care and providence. Such suffering is what is known as "redemptive" suffering, since it is through suffering that Jesus brought about redemption, not just our redemption, but also the redemption of the world. Are we prepared, as Jesus said in the Gospel: "to drink of the cup that I am going to drink?" Are we prepared to remain joyful and hopeful in the Lord, even though we experience pain, suffering, waiting, discomfort and other similar experiences?

No comments:

Post a Comment