Recently, someone I know surprisingly and suddenly offloaded her anger onto me with a whole host of hurtful and unwarranted attacks. Out of nowhere, and for no understandable reason, I was the target of someone else’s anger and hate that really had nothing to do with me at all.
In today's Gospel, after Saint Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Christ, Jesus begins to teach. He teaches his disciples that He must suffer greatly, be rejected, and then be killed. Then He will rise.
Conflict, rejection, and suffering are all part of our experience as human beings. Jesus fully takes on this aspect of humanity, even to the point of death. We will never suffer as Jesus has suffered, but in our individual sufferings we can be assured that He knows what we feel, and experienced it even more fully than we may understand ourselves.
“O Lord, save me!” the Psalmist prays. “I was brought low and He saved me,” he continues. (Psalm 116) This is the Christian human experience. No one can escape suffering, but the Lord is with us with grace and salvation.
“The Lord is my help, therefore I am not disgraced,” Isaiah proclaims in the midst of his own experience of attacks from others. (Isaiah 50:7) We too can proclaim these same words and this same truth: The Lord is my help!
We are not alone. Suffering is part of the human experience. We are also united to every human being through the experience of suffering, but even more so, we are united to Jesus Himself.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
In whatever circumstances of conflict or attack or suffering that we may experience, let us remember that the Lord is our help and we are not alone.
Mary Catherine Craige enjoys spending her time creating art, writing, and playing her Irish harp. She uses her experience as a Montessori teacher and catechist to serve young children through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. As a life coach, she encourages and challenges women in all walks of life to more deeply discover their purpose and live fully alive. You can find out more about her here.