Let's face it. Life has many challenges, difficulties and sufferings. The journey is certainly no day at the beach at times. Let us also remember that the journey led Jesus to the cross. If we are to follow in the footsteps of the Master, we too, will frequently carry the cross. In those darkest moments of pain and suffering we must remember to turn toward Jesus. "Come to me all who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
I realize that I still have some growth opportunities in this area. The yoke does not always seem easy and the burden is actually quite heavy at times. Obviously, when the load feels too heavy to carry, I have most likely not gone properly to the Lord to find rest. I am holding on too tightly to the burdens rather than giving them to the Lord.
The pilgrimage of Lent gives us the opportunity to examine our lives in the context of salvation history. The scrutinies for the Elect will begin this coming weekend. It is a good time to ask ourselves some pertinent questions.
1. What do we believe? (Take some time to study the Creed.)
2. Why do we believe it?
3. How does it make a difference in the way we live?
For all who are hurting today, please know of my prayers for you. I realize that the pain is sometimes overwhelming. This can be physical pain, emotional distress, financial burdens, broken relationships, diagnosis with a serious illness, or the death of a loved one. The suffering is real, and at times it is intense. This is my simple reminder to you during your struggle. You do not walk alone. Be not afraid!