The embrace of suffering for our salvation
Last week we heard of the deaf man having his ears unblocked and today we continue the theme of how Jesus continues to unblock our ears. In the early years of his ministry Jesus delights the crowds with his miraculous miracles of healing. To those who are suffering with various pains, blindness, deafness, disability, and disease he manifests the healing action of a loving Father God. The people are excited and anticipate that he could be the one to save them in every way, socially, politically and spiritually. Jesus of course is their messiah but their ears are blocked to how he is to carry out his great act of redemption and show himself as the true messiah. In today's Gospel even Peter who a few moments earlier had declared Jesus to be the Christ reveals his own unblocked ears and failure to grasp how Jesus is about to achieve his mission. This Gospel of Mark begins to unfold the real mission of Christ as suffering Servant who will embrace his suffering to achieve our salvation. Jesus chooses to suffer and die for us as a sacrifice made to his Father to enable us once more to be able to share the life of heaven. The consequences of the first disobedience and sin of our human parents are pain, suffering, disease and disorder. The great mission of Christ is to embrace through the cross our suffering and defeat the powers of darkness that have caused our misery on earth. Out of love for each of us Jesus walks to his passion and death and the sign that Our relationship for all time has been achieved is the act of his Resurrection. By the power of God's Spirit his Resurrection marks the end of death without a future and begins the eternal life that comes through faith in Jesus. We are invited to be followers of his way to take up our cross to transform our suffering and join in his act of saving the world. Jesus's great act of sacrifice through his redemptive suffering becomes the way for the Christian to enter into his mission. Each of us can offer our own suffering, struggles, crosses and take part in the great mission of Christ. At first we struggle to understand this message but as our ears become unblocked we see the power of our love to transform our suffering into something beautiful for God and the Church. It is often the example of other Christians in their individual struggles with suffering that unblocked our ears, sometimes these are close family members who with the help of Jesus have given their suffering a meaning and an inspiration to others.
Take time to reflect on the message of the Gospel. Do we hear and fully understand the real mission of Christ to be a suffering servant and our Redeemer.
Do we embrace our suffering and use it as a source of grace for ourselves and others or do we try to avoid it and resist God by our grumbling and negativity.
Who has helped you by their reaction to suffering to understand the Church's belief in Redemptive Suffering?