Perfection Through Suffering

Holy Thursday Morning Prayer
Heb 2:9b-10
Dc. Larry Brockman

So, the leader in the work of salvation was made perfect through suffering. And if the leader, Jesus Christ, had to bear his suffering with dignity and grace; how appropriate it is that we, who follow after our leader, must also learn to bear our suffering with dignity in grace.

I think that one of the things we easily overlook is that Jesus lived a normal life for some 30 of his 33 years. It is just the last three years that the majority of the Gospels relate to us. But therein lies the story. Jesus embraced his mission from the Lord, and carried his cross all the way to the end.

All of us are given a special gift by God- the gift of life. During our lives we are blessed with periods of joy- a joyful youth; a special courtship; children and grandchildren, wonderful vacations and leisure; great athletic ability; and special talents in music or art, for example. But in between the good times, there are challenges. Those challenges generally involve suffering- suffering which we really cannot, and in many cases should not avoid.

Now, suffering isn’t something we should go after, don’t get me wrong. That is not the point. Nevertheless, no matter who we are, will have to face suffering in the course of our lives- suffering which is dealt to us by way of circumstances and/or time. The loss of a loved one, an illness or infirmity, a job dilemma, a problem child, the ravages of war, an accident, hurricanes and fires, you name it. Those are the crosses that we have to bear.

And if we are to learn anything from this reading, it is that all of us who follow the will of God need to embrace our crosses with dignity and grace; even with a sense of joy. And in so doing, we become perfect through that suffering.
That’s what Jesus example in the Gospel shows us. That through suffering, we will become better people, purified in our quest for the Kingdom of God.


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