"As Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it." Lk 19:41
Distress and upset comes to everyone, even Jesus. We can curse it, fight it, deny it or cry over it, like Jesus, but we cannot avoid it, and our faith tradition is clear. Until we learn to accept suffering as an ordinary part of every life, we will waste time trying to elude it. If Jesus, the God man, was not immune to suffering, neither are we.
At the same time, the Gospel does not ask us to seek suffering, but to accept it when it comes, often without warning or obvious meaning. In a poignant and demanding book, Where the Hell is God, Richard Leonard, an Australian Jesuit, explores suffering from the inside. Devastated and lost after a car accident that left his sister a quadriplegic, Leonard reminds his readers that God does not will our suffering, but will enter it with us if we allow it. Avoiding easy answers and cliches about God testing us, Leonard invites his readers to walk together in faith as they seek meaning in darkness.
Today, revisit an incident of suffering in your life and ask God for healing.
How do you make sense of random suffering?