Thought of the Day October 23, 2017 Victorious over tribulations

By 11:15 AM

The letter to the church in Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11) stresses the need to be victorious over tribulations.  Our life as human beings and our life as Christians is beset by trials, tribulations and difficulties. Those of life come from the imperfection of nature; those of our Christian life come from our sinfulness and the wiles of the evil one. In any case, we can become conquerors or be conquered. Paul says: "Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good" (Rom 12:21).

What the Spirit said to the church in Smyrna, he says to us: "Have no fear of the sufferings to come...(but) remain faithful until death" (Rev 2:10). In other words, by not allowing fear to turn us away from the trials and difficulties, we will be more open to the grace of endurance and perseverance which will mark us as true disciples of Jesus.

Tribulations are not something we seek nor something we should  avoid. Trials are never pleasant but there is no other way except through them to victory in Christ. "In him who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything"(Phil 4:13). We have to remember that these are grace moments by which God prepares us for the greater blessings he desires to bestow upon us.

Of all the trials and tribulations, the difficulties and sufferings Mary endured throughout her life, the greatest was standing beneath the cross, watching, weeping and waiting in the painful emptiness of helplessness. Even the prophetic words of Simeon in the temple decades earlier did not prepare her for the struggle she experienced on the hill of crucifixion. Her heart cried out to God "why?"; her submission to the mystery of the Father's plan said "fiat". Overshadowed by the Spirit in the conception of this Son now she is perfected by the Spirit through the sufferings she endured.

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