O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Most Painful Path is the Most Joyful

XIV and Last Sunday after Pentecost - II Class
Epistle: Col. 1:9-14 [Perseverance in suffering leads to glory.]
Gospel: Mt. 24:13-25 [Warning of the End Times]
Latin-English Propers

Today's Liturgy is filled with warnings that this life that we live in is filled with suffering. It is more than a "heads up" about suffering, because to say that this life is filled with suffering is a statement of the obvious. It is an admonition that the suffering we have now is something to be endured as the price of admission to the joy to come later. Now, we are weak and filled with passions and desires; we can never truly please God. Only Christ is strong enough and pure enough to pay the price of admission to the joy so great that only God can give it. Christ died, offering Himself as the sacrifice to open the door.

If we wish to enter into the joy of the Master, then the only way to do it is to join ourselves to Christ. We join ourselves to His death, that we might share in His Resurrection, as Blessed Paul admonishes the Romans. In today's Epistle, he admonishes the Colossians to bear the long sufferings of the present time with patience, because it is in resigning themselves to the Divine Providence through the bad times that leads to the good times. The more we resign ourselves to God through bad times, the more we open the door to let God give us good times when He so chooses. We need to let God be in charge and do it His way, as the life that God gives is far greater than any life we could ever do ourselves.

The only way to attain the greatest joy is to join ourselves to the Love of God, imitating Christ, who submitted Himself to the greatest torments, going silently as a sheep to the slaughter, so that God could use Him to sanctify His sinful Bride, the Church. He willingly and without any hesitation or complaint underwent the greatest tortures, because the joy of seeing His Bride living a holy life is so great, that the greatest suffering is an easy price to pay for it. Likewise, we resign ourselves to the most unpleasant tortures that God can give us without squirming or complaining, because first it is the only way to attain the joy so great that only God can give it and further, that joy is so great that it is worth all the suffering.