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Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Consoling Voice

"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour?' But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Jn 12:27-28

For most of us, thank God, life makes sense most of the time. We are blessed with homes, friends, food and family. We have resources upon which we can call when we are in trouble or sick. We know, even if we do not always appreciate it, that we are not alone.
Jesus had this same consolation in today's gospel. Troubled and upset, he hears a voice of consolation and confirmation from heaven just as he did when he came out of the waters of the Jordan after being baptized, and when he led his disciples up the mountain in his transfiguration. Still, the desire for a different path is within him. Anyone who wants to suffer for suffering sake is not listening to or living the gospel, but Jesus knows that suffering will be his lot because he had to confront those who were imposing impossible burdens on the poor in the name of God.

Learning to accept and even be grateful for life as it comes to us, no matter the suffering it brings, is one of the hardest lessons we learn. We push back, avoid, deny and wrestle with the dark turns that life brings us. Oscar Romero, who will  be beatified this May, knew that if he continued to speak on behalf of the poor he would likely be murdered, but he could not and chose not to avoid this awful burden. That he gave his life for the gospel continues to uplift all, but especially those who work among and with the poor. Suffering is not good, but suffering for the sake of the truth and the voiceless is sanctity.

Today, accept whatever comes to you with gratitude.

Have you known anyone who gave their life for the sake of others?

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