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Take Two Aspirins

Friday, September 27, 2013

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest

“Then he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter said in reply, ‘The Christ of God.’ He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.” (Luke 9:20)

What kind of answer would I give if God addressed this question to me today? Who would I say God is? In the Gospel of Luke, this passage comes in the greater context of the first prediction that Jesus will suffer, die and be raised. In that light, would any part of my answer (as a writer, I’d be hoping it were an essay question) include suffering? Jesus had to do some hard work with His closest followers to help them to realize that suffering was a part of the whole picture. Despite that work, when it came to the bitter end, they didn’t get it and abandoned Him. Yet, what Jesus says through His life, death and resurrection is that suffering is an integral part of the Christian picture. I don’t think we do any better than His first followers at getting it. On a good day, we have a “take two aspirins and call me in the morning” mentality about any kind of pain. A hangnail is enough to sour an entire day. On a far grander scale, euthanasia is an acceptable alternative for many. In another slice of the spectrum, we raise an angry fist at God when we see human suffering in this world. In ways small and large, we continue to abandon God when suffering surfaces. I wonder, when Jesus showed the way through suffering to abundant life on the other side, why we aren’t more in step with that central part of His message.

God who accompanies us in all things,

give us confidence and conviction in the message of Jesus

that You are always with us

and that through You we can endure all things.

Not only that, but we can come to new life on the other side. Amen.

Clare Willrodt
Marketing and Public Relations Associate, Avera

HAGGAI 2:1-9 ● PSALM 43:1, 2, 3, 4 ● LUKE 9:18-22

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