May 09, 2015
Saturday, 5th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 16:1–10
Gospel: Jn 15:18–21
Jesus said to his disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own. But you are not of the world since I have chosen you from the world; because of this the world hates you.
“Remember what I told you: the servant is not greater than his master; if they persecuted me, they will persecute you, too. Have they kept my teaching? Will they then keep yours? All this they will do to you for the sake of my name because they do not know the One who sent me.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
In the light of the merits of Christ’s Death and Resurrection, sufferings are salvific. Here are a five of the meritorious benefits one can draw from sufferings. The capitalized key words are arranged to form the word ‘blest”. God makes use of sufferings to BUILD you up. Problems can be character builders. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things you’re going to take with you into eternity. “We can rejoice when we run into problems… they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady” (Romans 5:3-4).
God uses sufferings to LEAD you. Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving.”Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). He can also use sufferings to EXAMINE your worth. People are like tea bags… if you want to know what’s inside them, just drop them into hot water! “When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience” (James 1:2-3).
In most cases God allows you to suffer in order to SPARE you. A problem can be a blessing in disguise. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem – but it bailed him out from conviction of a crime a year later when management’s actions were eventually discovered. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20). God also permits you to suffer in order to TEACH you and important lesson. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It’s likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:72).
A caveat is in order: Sufferings that stem from our own vices are not meritorious. The better thing to do is stop the vice and live according to God’s Will. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, help us see the value of sufferings in our spiritual life and so come to the kingdom you promise through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY : St. Gregory of Nazianzen, Bishop of Constantinople. Born in Turkey in 379, he abandoned a promising teaching career to embrace the monastic and priestly life. In 375, he was elected bishop of Constantinople, a city dominated by the Arians for forty years. When he made his entrance he was ill received by the people, because he was poorly dressed and bald. Later, however, his sermons on the Trinity aroused great admiration. He died in 390.