Philosophers and theologians have studied the complex question of suffering for centuries. In modern times we have also seen sociologists and psychologists delve into the topic. While I have studied the topic quite extensively in my own journey of faith, I have reached very few conclusions. I do not understand why God chose the suffering of His Son to offer us redemption. I do not know why I have had so much suffering in my own life. I don't know why others have had even more suffering in their lives. While we are at it, why do some people die so young?
In all of this pain and suffering we walk by faith. For me, this has been much easier said than done. I was reminded of that as I faced a very difficult experience this week. Sometimes life feels like an endurance test. My prayer tends to focus more on the first part of Jesus' prayer in the garden. "Father, if possible let this cup pass from me." I am not as good at offering the second part of the prayer, "Not my will, but Yours be done." I am grateful that the Lord has been patient with me for those many times when my response has been less than enthusiastic to embrace the suffering in my life.
I know it is Black Friday, but I am sitting quietly at home watching the Missouri Tigers play the Arkansas Razorbacks. As I spend my weekend resting and recuperating, I simply give thanks for the gift of good health, a beautiful family, and the love of Almighty God. May we all be reminded of "Thanksgiving" with each celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We are blessed indeed to be nurtured by the proclamation of God's Sacred Word and nourished by the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.