Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”  Suffering is a great mystery to us.  We even ask why Jesus had to suffer.  There are great graces that can form us during moments of suffering and can even give birth to virtues and beatitudes that help us to respond to the call to be good, holy, merciful, charitable and kind. Virtues can grow, develop and deepen in us in the midst of suffering.  We can learn to become more patient and more patiently endure hardships that can cause love and mercy to grow and even make forgiveness possible.  Yet, for most of us, suffering reminds us of pain we would rather not choose, infliction we would rather not embrace, and discomfort we would rather not face.  If possible, we would rather avoid suffering and would rather pursue happiness and peace. Suffering did not exist prior to creation for only God was there and there was only love of a profound existence.  The kind of love that could foresee a fall from grace, rejection of its Creator, the emergence of hurt caused by sin and the sin of disobedience causing suffering. Yet knowing all this, God still chose to create, knowing that love is greater than sin, and grace is more powerful than the effects of sin. Love will come to heal all these things permanently through a love that would and could only suffer greatly for the good of all and in particular for the gracious good of the other. God’s suffering love will love in creation and love through salvation so that in love, suffering will go away, illness will be no more and God’s profound love conquer sin which caused suffering and death in the first place. Comparisons in general are not good.  We compare ourselves to others, to one another and even compare ourselves to ourselves.  We do so from a love that is imperfect, selfish and wounded by sin.  We make comparisons knowing that our vision is skewed and blurry, our judgement weakened and impaired and our intention self-serving and one-sided.  It is difficult to be a good judge and to make good comparisons when tainted by sin.  All the same, nothing and no one can compare to God.  God is the perfect lover and the just judge. His glory reveals in us a profound love that freely suffers so that in the end, we may suffer no more.  No more hurt, no more comparisons, nor more sin just love forever.

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