Why must we suffer?
October 6, 2013 | By Deacon Mike Bickerstaff
Into the Deep
One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads directly through the cross of Christ.
If we are to find and stay on this path, this is a truth that we must come to embrace. In a passage from Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus explains to His apostles that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer at the hands of the authorities… that He will need to lay down His life. Peter, so like many in the world – maybe like you and like me – has a different view. Peter objects to what he hears and the Gospel tells us that he takes Jesus aside and actually rebukes Him!
And so, Jesus who had just previously called Peter Rock now addresses him as Satan. Jesus accuses Peter of thinking like human beings and not as God. He speaks of the necessity of the Cross… in His life and in ours. Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.
Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.” (Matthew 16:21-27) Who among us would not wish to run from suffering and pain? Surely we can relate, even to the words of Peter to Christ! Why? Because we do not think as the Father does.
- See more at: http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2013/10/deacon-bickerstaff-why-must-we-suffer/