He learned obedience from what He suffered…
Day 33: Fifth Sunday of Lent – Hebrews 5:8-9
Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered; and when He was made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.
Additional Reading(s) today: John 12:20-33; Heb. 5:7-9; Jer. 31:31-34
Today’s Lenten Reflection
We live in a culture that wants life to be (or to be portrayed as) picture perfect on a constant basis. We look around at other people — in the house across the street, the office down the hall, or on social media — and think, “Why can’t my life be like that?” As if the photos from beautiful locations around the globe or of the house with the white picket fence means that person has found the happy ending we are longing for. But the reality is that every life has suffering, no matter how beautiful it appears on the outside. In today’s second reading, we hear that Jesus Himself had to learn “obedience” through His suffering. Those are two words we don’t like to see, and especially not put together. Obedience makes us recoil. But when we view obedience through the lens of Jesus, we are able to see it in a brand new way. It is not something to dread, rather there is a softening that comes from accepting what is and not what we think it should be. From obeying what — or who — we should instead of working against it. Because suffering is unavoidable, we have to make a decision. We can either let it destroy us or we can learn from Jesus and our forefathers and allow suffering to strengthen (and bless!) us from the inside out.
Day 33 Lenten Meditation
What do you feel when you hear the word “obedience”? Do you think of being a child again? Does it stir up resistance? Try to view obedience in a new light today. Obedience to God is always beneficial. It always pays dividends. The question is, can you be obedient to God’s plan for you? Can you be obedient to your true self, the person you are meant to be, scars and flaws and all? In her book Everyday Sacred, Sue Bender talks about what happens when the plans we laid out are thwarted by something beyond our control: “When circumstances can’t be changed, I can change. I can learn from obstacles placed along the path … Nothing is wasted time. If I can learn from a mistake, then it is not wasted time.”
God of Light and love, give us the open heart we need to accept what is put before us, the joys and sorrows, the pain and laughter, knowing that life will always contain both, and all. Merciful Father, grant us the grace never to turn away from obeying Your Son, whom our sins have bruised and bloodied, but which He bore out of love for us. Today we pray to embrace our sufferings in full trust and surrender. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Do something loving for someone who is suffering.
“We must always remember that God does everything well, although we may not see the reason of what He does” –Saint Philip Neri.
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