Our Lent journey has begun. It is a season for refocusing on the suffering and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we will be ready to embrace the good news of the Resurrection.
Why such an emphasis on suffering? Because Christ saved us through an act of suffering. He bore in his own person the weight of our sin and died for us on the cross, where suffering and love coincided.
And the Church is the Body of Christ, which participates in Christ. Therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised that we will be called upon to suffer out of love. In the economy of grace, God may use our suffering to bear the burden of another member of the Body of Christ, just as one system can take up the work of another, or one organ can support another.
So as we begin our Lent together, let us resolve to focus on Christ’s suffering, and to unite our own suffering–through fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and reflection on the Stations of the Cross–with the suffering members of the Church. It is not the destination but the journey that will ultimately transform us.