Stuff Happens

June 28, 2014 Immaculate Heart of Mary Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19; Luke 2:41-51 Stuff happens. Suffering, regardless of how it occurs or who may have caused or contributed to it, is a fact of life. We suffer because we’re human, mortal and, as the story of Adam and Eve illustrates, prone to sin and disobedience to God’s will. Mary and Joseph suffered anxiety and confusion when their Son came up missing on the trip home from Jerusalem because he decided he needed to stay in the Temple, his Father’s house, and sit among the teachers there. The people of Israel suffered sieges and predations from their enemies and ultimately exile because they chose to follow the prophets who told them what they wanted to hear rather than those sent by God who called them to change. Some suffering makes sense; and some never will. We cannot escape suffering, though many of us try through every way from denial or wishful thinking to alcohol and other drugs. Sometimes we just have to endure it; but often we can also learn from it, adapt to it, and hopefully find ways to prevent it from happening needlessly to ourselves or others. In the face of suffering we can find that we are stronger than we thought; we may be reminded that life isn’t always fair; and sometimes we are called to conversion. Suffering can be a tutor as well as a burden. God of compassion, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother and through your grace, may we grow in our capacity to transform and be transformed by our suffering.—JC