In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 4, Jesus tells a couple of parables, both of an agrarian nature. In the first He talks about how a seed grows, yet we know not how. Why? It is the mystery of life, and that God alone is the giver and taker of life. The second is a familiar one about a mustard seed. The smallest of seeds becomes a great plant. Much like the Church, and hopefully much like our faith.
Suffering is not a fun topic. But let’s talk about it anyway. In the first reading today from Hebrews 10 we read about two rather unpopular topics: suffering and endurance. Suffering is unpopular because no one likes to do it, and endurance is unpopular because most people in today’s instant gratification culture want what they want and they want it NOW! But the sacred author today lets us know about the importance of each, and their intrinsic link in the grand scheme.
Whether we like it or not, suffering is going to come our way. In the reading today we hear about how the people “joined in the sufferings of those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.” I believe that the Church is coming into a time of great persecution, of great suffering for the faithful. Will it include prison and confiscation of property? Your guess is as good as mine. Whatever it entails, we will need endurance to see us through. Hebrews 10:36 sums it up nicely. “You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” Let us pray that God will give us that endurance to stay strong to the end.
Father, give us the strength we need to endure the sufferings that will surely come our way. Keep us strong to the end, that we might bask in your glory forever. Amen.