Life Involves Pain And Strain
Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent
Scriptural Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20; Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16 Matthew 20:17-28
My dear encountered couples:
Life with Jesus was not going to be a happily-ever-after fairy tale. At least not in this world. He told his apostles he was going to be crucified: “The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and condemned to death. He will be made sport of, flogged and crucified...And from the cup I drink of you shall drink.” But then he gave them hope for a life after all that suffering: “On the third day he will be raised up.”
Few of us expect life on earth to always be our cup of tea. But we plan the last part of it to be as close to perfect as we can get. We have dreams of retiring in our favorite environment —by the beach, in the mountains, alongside a golf course. Whatever we think will make life like heaven on earth for us we envision for our golden years. And the more industrious of us work like mad most of our lives to make that happen. We faithfully give ourselves over to our jobs, we save, we invest, we do all that common sense tells us we must do if we hope to retire in security and comfort. That means we suffer a lot in our early years in hopes of enjoying a lot in those that come later.
But our sights are not to be so limited. We are to look beyond a happily-ever-after retirement in this world to living happily in the next. That too involves suffering. Living a Christian life involves pain and strain — denying self and doing for others. Christianity is not the key to rest, comfort, and riches in this world, it is the key to another world. To enter heaven requires what might seem like the crucifixion Jesus had to go through before entering heaven. We already know that, don’t we? We have already experienced some of it. Then why complain so much when life gets tough? Whatever happens here is all part of preparing us for living happily-ever—after in unending heavenly retirement.