Suffering Strengthens Us

03-17-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Aruldoss

Dear People of God,

Good morning to you! On this fifth Sunday of Lent, the readings focus on God's covenant with us, even though we are often unfaithful. The first reading speaks of a new covenant. that the Lord will make a new covenant with them, planting the law within their hearts. “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Juda… “I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer 31:31-33).

God is ready to set aside a relationship that was destroyed by infidelity. He wishes to restore a broken relationship. On our own part, we must be ready to accept this new covenant with God. This new covenant offers us salvation and life. So, all he demands from us is to be ready to accept this new covenant made in Christ Jesus.

In the gospel reading of today, Jesus teaches his disciples about the way in which he will be glorified by God, and a voice from heaven is heard to affirm this teaching. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn12:24). Following his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus predicted his suffering, death, and Resurrection and prepared his disciples to believe in the salvation that his death would accomplish. Using the metaphor of the grain of wheat, Jesus presented the idea that his dying would be beneficial. He also taught that those who would be his disciples must follow his example of sacrifice.

He knew that his suffering and death would restore life to many. So, rather than be discouraged by the temporary situation of suffering, he was encouraged and motivated by the honest reward of eternal life. Hence, Christ offered his suffering and life in order to restore a broken covenant and eternal life for all who believe in him. Jesus invites us to be strong along the path of life. He wants us to be where he is.

The daily sufferings exhaust us physically, but they strengthen us spiritually. Therefore, as we continue our walk with Christ this season, the thought of his own suffering and death must strengthen us daily. As our Lenten journey soon concludes, may we consider the ways in which we might continue the practice of self-denial by offering small, daily sacrifices to the Lord. Have a

Happy and Blessed Sunday!