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St. Paul’s Suffering for the Sake of Mission

Today’s excerpt from the Acts of the Apostles indicates that St. Paul’s missionary adventures were hardly a walk in the park. Saint Paul suffered terribly for the sake of Christ and the Church and this suffering was not just being bereft at times of emotional consolation, but real, physical torment.

All this Saint Paul endured. Why?

Look at the cross and you can discern the answer.

The cross of Jesus Christ indicates that God can transform suffering through love. Christ accepts suffering, not only his own, but that of the whole world, and through his willingness to love, he imbues his suffering with the potential to heal and to liberate, to save and to redeem.

This is a great mystery and we could not of our own will effect this kind of transformation, but through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, God can act to imbue our own suffering with his love, and in his will transform it just as he transformed his own.

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