This video originally aired on Shalom TV and is part of the Luminous program.
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24).
If Jesus suffered for us why do we have to suffer? We share in the sufferings of Jesus Christ because we are part of his body, the Church. Whether we like it or not, there will be suffering. So, what do we do with it?
"Life is going to give us lemons. So, how do we make lemonade?"
Jesus is good at teaching us how to make lemonade out of the lemons in our life. Here is my R-E-C-I-P-E.
- R - Redemptive
Suffering is redemptive. Without Christ, any suffering we go through is useless and meaningless. With Christ, we can offer it up in union with him on the Cross. Let's make sure we offer up our suffering; it does call down grace for souls.
- E - Eucharistic
When we suffer during the week we can bring forth our suffering with the bread and the wine at the offertory. It is united by the power of the Holy Spirit with the Eucharist and offered up to the Father. That is why we should bring our sufferings with and offer it up on the Altar, lift them up with the Eucharist.
- C - Christ Centred
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. For us, we have to follow Jesus through the same journey. We follow Jesus through the exact same path he took. We suffer, we die, and we rise. We will have to follow Jesus through certain sufferings.
"But, suffering doesn't have the final word. Death doesn't have the final word."
- I -Identify
We can identify with others who have suffered. We can more readily be there for other people who are suffering.
- P - Purify
Suffering purifies our motives. If you are willing to suffer for others you know that you are not in it for yourself; you are in it for them. How do we know that God loves us? Because he gave his life for us, he gave everything for us. He held nothing back. He had our best interested at heart.
- E- Evangelistic
If people can still see a certain peace and joy within us in the midst of our sufferings people will ask. Our suffering can be evangelistic. Suffering can lead people to the Lord.
If we look at our life, we cannot escape suffering. But, if we can see suffering in light of R-E-C-I-P-E, you can help those lemons into lemonade. This is the power of God. How awesome is our God.