Each of us journeys in this life from birth to death. God has chosen a path for us and call us to walk along it. But he has also created us with free will and allow us to follow a route of our own choosing. There is nothing more important than choosing a path that leads to meaning , fulfillment, compassion and joy. If we chose our own path, we risk the cosequences of walking along, with only our own meager resources. But if we choose to walk in God’s ways, he will give us all we need for this journey. When there are forks in the road, obstacles to be overcome or alternate routes to take, God accompanies us and helps us discern his path from others.
Wherever our journey of faith takes us, it inevitably encounters suffering. Our culture, to the contrary, tells us to avoid suffering at all cost. Advertisers tell us that if we buy the right products we can avoid not only suffering but also the smallest inconviences. A popular commercial for pain relief used to tell us that when we hurt, even when a little bit, time counts- not hours of time but mere seconds!
However, Jesus and his gospel teach us that suffering is a natural part of human life; indeed, it is essential for Christian life. As Christians, we are invited to accompany Jesus on his journey, and we cannot avoid suffering if we do so. There may seem to be a tension in the Gospel between Jesus’ rasing someone from the dead and himself setting our resolutely toward Jerusalem and the Cross that awaits him on Calvary. But as the saints and martyrs shows us, if we walk with Jesus and listen attentively to his words, we will begin o understand how this tension is resolved- how his suffering and death leads to new life.
The journey of faith remains a venture of great risks and costs. It requires us to renounce reliance on any and every human resources in order to acknowledge our utter dependance on God for everything. This does not come easily to us. Wea re used to relying on others, and especially to ourselves. That is why it is very important that we come regulary…to stand in God’s presence, sing his praises, open our minds and hearts to listen to his word, and acknowledge our need for his help so that we might walk in hus ways, not in those of the world.