Pathways through Lent

The Face of Suffering

Psalm 116:1, 10-17
Exodus 12:1-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-1731b-35

We’ve all seen it—in the newspaper photograph of a desperate, elderly man in the heart of the Syrian conflict; in a neighborhood’s struggle to understand how an eight-year-old could be shot in mindless crossfire; and in the quiet pain of a co-worker who lives every day with the loss of his children in a tragic accident. Suffering surrounds us and we risk becoming immune to it in the throng of the media that envelops us.

As I try to comprehend the suffering of Christ and the burden of sorrow that he carried, I look into those faces around me. It can be difficult to know how to respond to a suffering soul and often is easier to turn away. But by looking into someone’s eyes, offering a simple gesture such as a smile or a hug, by acknowledging a person’s suffering, I might help alleviate it.  In choosing to face the sorrow of those around me, I may come closer to understanding what our Lord went through for us on His road to the cross.

“… so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10  

– Barbara Van Woerkom

April 17 - Suffering

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