Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NO TIME TO WASTE....embracing our cross and preparing for Jesus' arrival

Gospel Reading for today: Luke 12:35-38
"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on His arrival." Luke 12:37

Before sharing with you a devotion I read on the gospel this morning, I am going to share with you something so amazing that can happen through praying the rosary. First of all, I'll begin the story with yesterday. I have a new found freedom in working out. Nothing has ever been able to get me motivated to go to the gym other than the wonderful childcare that the work-out facility of my home town provides. Several times I have found myself in the locker room after putting the kids in the childcare just sitting there and staring at the TV. Not wanting to work out, not wanting to talk to anybody, just wanting to BE. However, my new motivation is Father Robert Barron. He is the founder of Word On Fire and has amazing messages. You can download his sermons on your ipod and get physically fit and spiritually fit all at the same time! http://www.wordonfire.org/. Yesterday his sermon was on redemptive suffering. He explained how a mother's suffering when her child is sick is a beautiful form of suffering....as she gives up sleeping at night to be at her child's bedside, as she is worried about his fever, as she goes to the pharmacy to get medicine, this is all a form of redemptive suffering. Redemptive suffering is when suffering comes upon you that you did not ask for or expect but you bare the suffering with patience and endurance.

So this morning, as I was meditating on the fourth sorrowful mystery of Jesus carrying the cross the thought came to me from heaven that just as Simon helped carry Jesus' cross, I have helped my son, Benjamin, carry his cross of a hearing loss since his birth. From worrying constantly about so many things, to putting his hearing aides on over 100 times a day when he was one year old, enduring his loud voice and screams the past four years, having to read a book extra loud at night, taking him to speech therapy once a week and then on the bus for speech school everyday....and the list goes on....Jesus and His mother told me this morning that I have suffered with Ben and have picked up his cross to help him carry the heavy load. This is a form of redemptive suffering and I am going to start offering it up as a form of prayer. I am so thankful that my Father and Mother in heaven opened my eyes to the beauty of this so-called "impairment". I have cried many hours over my son's suffering. I have begged the Lord to heal him and give me the hearing loss. Maybe instead of looking at it as an "impairment", I need to teach Ben and myself to look at it as a pathway to Heaven. Ben is blessed to have such a cross and I am blessed and honored as his mother to help carry his cross. I am so thankful for this new outlook I received from Heaven today. I will walk with a skip in my step today because I received a beautiful message from Jesus, the one who actually carried THE CROSS and his blessed Mother who painfully witnessed such a tragic event and carried her son's cross as her heart was broken.

So today, whatever cross you are carrying yourself or for others, think of it as a blessing. For you are redeeming souls for eternity through patiently and willingly carrying a heavy load. It might not be "fair" in the world's eyes but sacrifices and suffering equals eternal rewards. For you have shared the cross of Christ. Have a blessed Tuesday and hug your babies tight and pray for whatever cross they might have to endure in the future. That you can be their first teachers to embrace the cross as a gift. Just as the gospel says today that we have to get ready for Jesus to come at any hour, one form of getting ready is embracing our cross with patience and exceptance.

REFLECTION OF THE GOSPEL FROM "LIVING FAITH" (a catholic daily devotional book):
"Just as parents arriving home from a vacation do not want to find their teenager hosting a raging party, Jesus doesn't want to return to a disrespectful mess either. How will he feel if he comes back to collect his beloved people, the ones he gave his life for, only to discover that we have let our families and churches fall apart, made idols of money and worldly success, and allowed sin to pollute us? Like the parents of the teenager, I imagine he will not be amused.

The party's over. It's time to abandon our excess and be vigilant about our faith. It's time to prepare our hearts, our homes and our communities for the arrival of the master.

When Jesus gets here, I want to be ready to go. I want my things in order, my work complete, my house clean, my relationships tidy and my children prepared to join me. I have a lot to do, not time to waste." Karen Armstrong, Living Faith October 2009

1 comment:

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Thank you, Kim, for your inspiring and beautiful words. It's true that we can unite our sufferings or those of our children to Jesus. I like to tell others that it's important to offer our entire day to the Lord when we first open our eyes to a new day - every day. We give Him everything and ask Him to sanctify it all - every prayer, every suffering, every joy, every act of service - EVERYTHING! He will bless it all when we have united to Him in prayer. He will also work miracles! Amazing, isn't it?

God bless and hugs,