His Pain Like Mine

One of the most frustrating sufferings Jesus bore must have been misunderstanding - a lack of comprehension on the part of those who loved Him and a lack of acceptance on the part of the authorities. A suffering Savior was not acceptable to either. A spiritual leader who spent time changing souls instead of governments had no place in their regime. He knew what they really needed to enter His Father's Kingdom, but they were interested in the kingdom of this world - they called it living a reality - He called it death. They thought of this life as the only one - He said it was only a place of exile while we waited for something greater. He told them the poor were blessed, and it was better to be virtuous than to gain the whole world, but to them worldly glory was too much to pass by for some invisible reality.

His Apostles were slow to understand the simplest parables and often they would ask Him for explanations after the crowds were gone. He tried so hard to bring the Mystery of the Father's Love down to the language of children, but even that was often beyond the reach of His disciples - the men destined to go and preach the Good News to everyone. He would often look at them with amazement and say, "Do you not understand either?" (Mk. 7:18) Even His miracles were misunderstood, His authority questioned and His relatives
sought Him out as some madman. His discernment was questioned because He permitted a sinner to touch Him and His reputation held in suspicion because He ate with sinners. When He healed on the Sabbath, He was a lawbreaker and when He demanded love as the most important Commandment, He was labeled an innovator.

There are hardly any human beings who have not felt this pain of misunderstanding in their lives in some form or other. Our motives are rashly judged or our virtue is called hypocrisy. Our ideas are too bold or our caution called timidity. Children accuse parents of interference when loving correction warns of danger. We're tagged fanatics if Jesus is a part of our daily living, but when tragedy strikes, Job's comforters confront us with our lack of piety as God's vengeance strikes us for some hidden resentment that must be lurking in our hearts.
When we're compassionate towards sinners we're accused of imprudence and when just anger makes us lash out we are called uncharitable. The list of the incongruities could be multiplied a hundredfold and the more we try to make them right, the more entangled we become. But we can always look at Jesus and know He understands. Like Him, we can do the Father's Will according to the light we have and be at peace. His sufferings formed part of our redemption - ours form part of our sanctification.


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