Scripture: Isaiah 42: 1-7
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one, in whom my soul delights”
As we begin Holy Week the suffering servant comes into focus. Before he is able to help others, he must learn compassion through the bitter experience of suffering persecution and physical abuse. The Liturgy of Passion Sunday presents Jesus as fulfilling the role of the Servant. As followers of Jesus we too share in his suffering.
Let us remember that as Henri Nouwen tells us – there is Joy hidden in suffering. He writes:
“I know this from my own times of depression. I know it from living with people with mental handicaps. I know it from looking into the eyes of patients, and from being with the poorest of the poor. We keep forgetting this truth and become overwhelmed by our own darkness. We easily lose sight of our joys and speak of our sorrows as the only reality there is.
We need to remind each other that the cup of sorrow is also the cup of joy, that precisely what causes us sadness can become the fertile ground for gladness. We need to be angels for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow but also a cup of joy will we be able to drink it.”
Jesus knew that the cup of suffering would become the cup of joy for him, that suffering and death was not the end. If Jesus had remained dead, if his death was the end of the story, then there would be no Christ to follow, no Church, no Christianity. It is because God raised Jesus from the dead, and death turned into New Life and Joy, can we know that our sorrow will be turned into Joy. Without the resurrection there would be no GOSPEL, because there would be no “GOOD NEWS’ to tell.
Offer your sufferings to Jesus for those you love and for the needs of the world. Accept your own hardships and sufferings as a sharing in the Suffering of Jesus.
Lord, you are my light and my salvation. Help me to follow your example by laying down my life for others.