Psalm 10:1-2, 3-4,
I believe that it was Teresa of Avila who once told the Lord "You
would have a lot more friends if you treated them better." The spirit
of gumption, intimacy, and humor that lies behind her words (for she certainly
was aware of how well God does treat us) is one of the most attractive things
about that wonderful woman.
The fact remains, however, that God does let difficult and sometimes even
very painful things happen to those He loves, those who put their trust in
him. In today's Gospel Jesus points to how much he himself will have
to suffer by invoking one of the so-called "Suffering Servant" songs from
Isaiah, even if it is not the most explicit one.
How God can allow such things as calumny, poverty, pain, rejection, torture,
and even death to happen to those who serve him is a mystery that deserves
our reflection and especially our prayer, but the fundamental answer is that
we must learn (and that really is the key word) to put our hope in God.
If we loved God only when he made things sweet and lovely we would remain
superficial, our faith a seed that took no deep root, and we would remain
the most childish of people.
But God is treating us like adults, calling us to the higher things and
inviting us, like Peter, to walk on water even in a stormy darkness.
He is inviting us to put our hope in Him completely and to follow His Son
along the difficult path and through the narrow gate, the way of the cross.
Let us set aside what is only temporary pain, rejection by a world that
is passing away, and our lack of understanding, and let us place ourselves
peacefully and even joyfully in the hands of our loving God, our Father,
just as Jesus did.