The other day I was sitting in class, and one of my classmates was had a cold. I wanted so much to ease the suffering of this classmate. I wanted to take away the pain and suffering.
Later that evening I was meditating in the chapel and began to think about my response to the suffering of this classmate of mine in relation to my response to the sufferings of Christ. I wanted to ease the sufferings of my classmate, but do I want to ease the sufferings of Christ? My natural response in seeing my classmate's suffering was to sympathize and to want to alleviate the pain. So, if I want to love Christ more, all I need to do is consider his sufferings and remember that he suffered worse than this classmate. If I consider his sufferings as being real and beingthe sufferings of a person liek my classmate this will bring me to love him more as I empathize with his suffering. It is natural to empathize and to want to come to the aid of those suffering. Yet, I know I can not take away the sufferings of Christ. Looking at the cause of his suffering I find that it is due to my sins, and I can try to stop sinning the best I can (with His help). But even more a cause of love for the Lord is the fact that, though my sins demanded this kind of sacrifice on his part, it was really his love that caused him to accept the cross and the sufferings that he endured.
And yet what of those who are his members? What about those who fulfill what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ? What about them? Can I not think of them as Jesus suffering as well?
While listening to a homily today, I realized that this consideration of others' suffering as being Jesus suffering, Jesus in a distressing disguise (as Mother Teresa would say), is a way for me to want to come to the aid of others and yet not lord it over them, as if I am somehow so great for helping them in their need. If they are Jesus in a distressing disguise, then it becomes a humble service, a way of easing the sufferings of Jesus, and heaven help me if I think myself as great in front of such a great lover of mankind.
Lord, you show me many wonderful things. Help me to live them out.