Who would have dreamed of having a prosperous and easy life? Is it not the reason why we strive hard to have a good life? Prior to entering the seminary, I dreamed of becoming an architect or a computer expert. I dreamed of having a perfect family. I imagined myself becoming a professional. I dreamed of a beautiful house, a beautiful car, and modern gadgets. All of these I dreamed of achieving and acquiring. For me, a perfect life is one that is free from misery and suffering. I believe that a life free from suffering is what most people dream of and wish to achieve.
Reflecting on the gospel, I realized that this life that I am dreaming of is nothing but an egoistic desire. Moreover, there is no such thing as a life free from suffering. We have our own respective crosses in life. In the Gospel, Jesus reminded and challenged those who wanted to follow Him. Those who want to follow Him must suffer too. Each of us is called to follow the Lord because it is only in Him and through Him that our lives will be fulfilled.
As a priest-in-process, there is no one worthy to follow but Jesus. Therefore, like Jesus, I must embrace suffering and hardships too. It involves disregarding all my selfish dreams and offering myself to Jesus. Suffering is indeed difficult. Jesus assures us that we are not left alone in our sufferings–He will be with us. After all, He has done it first and suffered for us. Saint Paul in these words gives us consolation: “Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
By: Sem. Ninonel Setosta
Gospel: Luke 9:22-25
Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”