Malankara World

Today with Jesus

Freedom from Sufferings

by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada

Today's Bible Verse

“Because he poured out his life unto death.” (Isaiah 53:12)

Discussion

Do you hope for a suffer sans-free life?

Freedom from sufferings is a mirage on this life. As we fight against it, it bounces back 100 times. Let it be as it is. When it passes after doing the damage it can do, the victims will emerge with more immune power and courage to face more sufferings that life can offer. “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3). “It’s better, if it’s God’s will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17). As long as Christians live on this earth, they will have sufferings. If we are God’s children, we will receive blessings from God together with Christ. But we must suffer as Christ suffered so that we will have glory as Christ has glory” (Romans 8:17). Sister Mary Prema, the Mother Superior of The missionaries of Charity says, "Sufferings can’t be a punishment. And yet God allows it. We can take advantage of suffering to approach him and ask him for the grace to endure it and thus be able to live this suffering well. Suffering often comes as the consequences of our decisions. However, it is also a consequence of a passing world, that is fragile.” She continues, "But I’m convinced that God allows suffering because it can transform us into better and more profound people… thus we are able to understand that this world and this life are not the ultimate goal, but there is something more: the life of the soul… if one really accepts suffering, is purified.” It’s very sad, very dangerous and has long term consequences for those who are inflicting sufferings on others.

Blessed Kateri (1656- 1680) was an aboriginal. When she was 4, both her parents died due to small pox. She was severely disfigured and almost blind as the result of the plague. Kateri had no formal education, but she remembered her mother's strong faith and often went to the woods to talk to God. When she was 21, she was baptized as a Christian but the family members did not accept her choice. However, Kateri suffered beatings, stoning and death threats. Because she would not work on Sundays, she was not allowed to eat that day. Soon she had to flee for her life. Kateri travelled 200 miles on foot through the wilderness and finally reached the mission of St. Francis Xavier near Montréal. There she led the life she desired, praying continually and helping the poor and the sick. Even in winter, she would kneel out in the snow to pray. She died when she was 24. Her last words were "Jesus, I love you.”

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” ( Mathew 5:10). As human beings and children of Jesus, we should suffer and die for others' sufferings.

Prayer

Jesus, we pray for those who are in the healing, caring and sharing ministry. May those who are under persecution, be comforted. May the persecutors confess and convert into thy sufferings. Let more volunteers sprout out to mitigate the sufferings of innocents. We pray for the souls of martyrs who died for the sake of your suffering. All we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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