May 9, 2016

I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.

—John 16:33

Jesus doesn't say that the Christian life will be easy—in fact, He tells us the opposite. He warns us that we will face persecution and struggle, that we must be prepared to persevere and keep fighting. But He promises that He will be with us through it all—"even to the end of the age"—and He has proven that He has the strength to overcome even the greatest suffering imaginable, even death itself. We have nothing to fear, because He will supply us with the strength we lack. Even in trials, we can find that His yoke is still easy and His burden light; He makes an impossible load bearable, and if we cling to Him, even our burdens can become sweet.

On our own, we can do nothing, but with Jesus, there is nothing we can't do, nothing that is impossible. I imagine Him saying these words to us with a wink in His eye, reassuring us that although there will mountains on the path we travel, to Him they are hills He's already conquered. He will be our faithful guide through the expedition ahead, and He will lead us to glory unimaginable on the other side. We have no reason to back away from suffering and try to seek another path. It may seem tempting to remain where we are in comfort and complacency, but it will not bring us fulfillment. We are called to do great and difficult things. If we lean into our sufferings with courage and take up our crosses, He will lead us through them, and we will be purified and strengthened through our endurance. The journey will be hard, yes, but with Him, we can do it, and it will be worth the sacrifice: that is His promise.

In order to be Christian, our lives must be a continual renunciation and sacrifice. However, we know that the difficulties of this world are nothing compared to the eternal happiness that awaits us, where there will be no limit to our joy, no end to our happiness, and we shall enjoy unimaginable peace. And so, young people, learn from our Lord Jesus Christ the meaning of sacrifice.

—Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

 

Frassati NY