The most decisive motive to aid us in peacefully confronting the drama of suffering is this: we must take very seriously the mystery of the Incarnation and that of the Cross.
Jesus took our flesh, He really took upon Himself our sufferings. And in all people who suffer there is Jesus who suffers.
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 25, in the narrative on the Last Judgment, Jesus says to those who took care of the sick or visited prisoners: insofar as you did it for one of these least of my brothers, you did it for me.
These words of the Lord teach us that “on the eve of our life we will be judged by how much we loved” (St. John of the Cross) and in particular how much we loved our brothers in need. It is an exhortation to compassion.
But, these words of Jesus, do they not invite us also to recognize His traits, His presence in all those who suffer? They call us to apply ourselves with all our strength to relieve the suffering, but also to view it with hope.
In all suffering there is a germ of life and of the resurrection, because Jesus is there in person.
If, in confronting a person who is suffering, we have this conviction that it is Jesus who is suffering in this person, Who in this person completes that which is lacking in His Passion, to speak like St. Paul, how can one despair in the face of this suffering?
Is His passion not redemptive? Do not grieve as other people do who have no hope. (I Thessalonians 4:13).
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