Never give up

WE should have this go-getter attitude in life. Even if we are faced with tremendous difficulties and challenges, even if we suffer failures and defeats, the thing to do is simply to move on and to go on. We should never surrender. We should never give up, because in the last analysis God himself never gives up on us.

Remember that there can be no worse human defeat than what Christ himself suffered when he was put to death. Whatever pain or sorrow we experience, whatever failures and defeats we suffer cannot compare with what Christ experienced and suffered on the cross. The worst scenario in the world has already taken place.

And yet we know that that worst scenario also gave way to the best thing we can ever have—our own salvation with the resurrection of Christ. Let’s remember always that there are things in this life that we may not able anymore to overcome, but as long as we suffer everything with Christ, we also can share in his resurrection, his victory.

St. Paul made this clear when he said, “If we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Rom 6,8) All we have to do to die with Christ is to have the same attitude and motive that Christ had toward his own passion and death that led to his resurrection.

And what is this attitude and motive of Christ toward his passion and death? It is to obey the will of his Father for the salvation of man. In other words, whenever we suffer something, especially in those predicaments that are already humanly impossible to solve, let us not forget to suffer them in obedience to God’s will for the salvation of mankind, that is, our own salvation and that of the others.

Christ has shown us the way to handle our human condition here on earth that will be marked, whether we like it or not, by suffering in many forms and ultimately by death, the final consequence of our sins.

We obviously have to try everything to solve our problems and predicaments, but all along we should remember that we cannot avoid suffering and we just have to learn to suffer the way Christ suffered his passion and death.

Let’s us not get lost in the technicalities of our suffering here on earth even as we immerse ourselves through these technicalities. We have to follow what Christ himself said so clearly: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mt 16,24)

It is these words of Christ that liberate us from a narrow and shallow understanding of our human suffering. It is these words that would enable us to be healthily game and sport in the drama of our life, in its twists and turns that can sometimes get very dizzying.

Christ assured us that while in this world, we cannot avoid troubles, we can somehow manage to handle them because he has conquered the world. This is what he said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16,33)

So there is no reason to worry too much about our problems in this life. We have to learn to refer them immediately to everyone’s need for salvation which is what God wants. But yes, we have to learn to suffer—with peace, with joy, with hope, with love.

If our reaction to all our suffering is guided by this truth of our faith, then there is nothing in this life that can put us down. Even those problems that are already humanly insoluble, and even death itself, would not take away our peace and joy. So, we should never give up!

As a psalm would put it: “Put your hope in the Lord, for with him is mercy and fullness of redemption.” (130,7)

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