This weather sure has been challenging, hasn’t it? I’ve seen ruptured pipes, flat tires, cracked fenders, ruptured plans, flat moods, and cracked skin. It’s so tempting to yell at the sky: “WHY ME, LORD?” Ok, yes, it’s true: that was me you heard yelling last week. The plow had finally gone by and blocked in our driveway with yet another wall of ice. I stood in the street, steel shovel in hand, and sent up a loud cry of protest.
And I’m pretty sure the LORD of all creation quirked His eyebrow at me and chuckled, “My precious child. Why NOT you?”
Hmph. As always, He had a point. God reminded me that because He loves me and you, God allows us to participate (Oh, what dignity!) in the work of our own salvation, accomplished once and for all through Christ’s most holy and most undeserved suffering, yet shared, as an intimacy, with each one of us, each day. What a tremendous gift! I took a deep breath and resumed my work.
Later that evening, my friend sent a reflection about the sufferings of St. Paul Miki and his companions–who, in 1597, were marched 400 miles across Japan with their ears cut off and blood streaming down their faces. Each one was then bound to a Cross and killed with a lance. “Wow,” I whispered, “Why not me?”
The answer, I think, is that you and I are each given our own, specifically chosen, pieces of Christ’s cross to carry. In everything from colds to cancer, from broken dishes to broken hearts, from long lines to ____________ (you name it), my suffering is not your suffering, but it is still always suffering – always a sacred opportunity. Our individual sufferings are the splinter or beam we are meant to share with our Savior that day, the work that will make us united to His Sacred Heart. Thank you, Jesus, for involving us.
“I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” Colossians 1:24
Parish Catechetical Leader