He learned obedience from what He suffered…
Fifth Sunday of Lent – Hebrews 5
“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” -Heb 5:8-9.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
We live in a culture that wants life to be or to be portrayed as either picture perfect or, at the very least, comfortable. 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? From the outside, all really does seem perfect … while our own lives seem difficult and filled with trials and tribulations.
The reality is however, every single life has suffering no matter how beautiful or comfortable things may appear on the outside. The issue is not whether or not suffering exists, but rather how to view it and deal with it. We find in today’s reading that Jesus Himself learned obedience through suffering. Think about that for a moment. Even the Son of God Himself was made to suffer. Why then do we try so hard to avoid it?
When we begin to view suffering through the lens of Jesus, we are better able to understand its role in our lives in a more efficacious and blessed way. Simply put, suffering – or not being in a state of perpetual comfort – is not something to dread. In fact, suffering is something that God has willed because it is through suffering we become like Jesus – obedient and virtuous. In light of this, we can view suffering as a way to not only grow closer to Christ through emulation but strengthen our being with divine grace as well. Offering up our suffering for example, as penance, for the salvation of souls, or for reparation of sin, etc., transforms our ordinary discomfort into a powerful grace-making machine.
Fifth Sunday of Lenten Meditation
What do you feel when you hear the word “obedience”? Does it stir up resistance? The fact is that obedience to God or doing things God’s way is always meritorious. The question is can you be obedient to God’s plan for you? Are you willing to suffer for Christ? A Carthusian wisely wrote, “We have suffered, and we always shall, [especially] at finding that what the world offers us is only too often an appearance, a counterfeit reality … The world is bound to leave a great void in our hearts – a void that only God can fill. Ask Him to fill it more and more.” While suffering in this life is unavoidable, if we are able to change our perspective and suffer for Christ and with Him, it will make every heartache worth it knowing that it beholds eternal merit.
Additional Readings this Week
John 12:20-33; Heb. 5:7-9; Jer. 31:31-34
God of Light and love, give us the open heart we need to accept what is put before us – the joys and sorrows, 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. It is in Your good and holy Name we pray, 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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