Thought of the Day October 13, 2017 Sufferings

By 9:30 AM

Not only do we experience sufferings from the daily situations of life and from the hands of others, there may be times we will be invited and graced by Jesus to suffer for his sake, not because we are special, but because he chooses the weak to confound the strong. Paul refers to this in his letter to the Philippians. "For it is your special privilege to take Christ's part--not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him" (Phil 1:29). In this Paul may have been recalling the words of Jesus in the Beatitudes: "Blest are those persecuted for holiness' sake; the reign of God is theirs. Blest are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is great in heaven; they persecuted the prophets before you in the very same way" (Mt 5: 10-12). What Jesus and Paul alluded to was the experience of the Apostles in Acts. After being threatened and flogged because of their persistence in speaking about Jesus as the Messiah, we read: "The apostles for their part left the Sanhedrin full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name" (Acts 5:41).

Having so suffered Peter would later exhort others to follow the same pattern. "Do not be surprised, beloved, that a trial by fire is occurring in your midst. It is a test for you, but it should not catch you off guard. Rejoice instead, in the measure that you share Christ's sufferings. When his glory is revealed you will rejoice exultantly. Happy are you when you are insulted for the sake of Christ, for then God's Spirit in its glory has come to rest on you....If anyone suffers for being a Christian...he ought not to be ashamed. He should rather glorify God in virtue of that name....Accordingly, let those who suffer as God's will requires continue in good deeds, and entrust their lives to a faithful Creator" (1 Pet 4:12-19).

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