The true value of
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
March 16, 2022
“BEHOLD, we are going up
to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief
priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and
hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and
crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (Mt 20,18-19)
With these words, we have
to understand that like Christ we have to learn to suffer, to see
the redemptive value of suffering. We have to realize that in this
life of ours in this world, we can never avoid suffering in one form
Suffering is part of our
human condition that is wounded by sin and all sorts of weaknesses
and our natural human limitations, and the fact that we are meant to
live a supernatural life which we can never attain unless we are
truly with God, and the fact is, we seldom are truly with God. We
can only be completely suffering-free when we are with God in
But we are given a way of
how to handle our suffering properly, to the extent of converting
our suffering as a way to our own salvation and eternal happiness.
And that is always to follow the example of Christ as he went
through all the suffering in his redemptive life here on earth.
We have to be willing to
suffer the way Christ suffered for all of us. That way, we attain
the true essence of our humanity which is love, channeling the love
of God for us in us. No wonder then that Christ himself said:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s
friends.” (Jn 15,13)
No wonder also that as St.
Peter said in his first Letter, “He (Christ) did not retaliate when
he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his
case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” (2,23) We have
to learn to restrain our urge to make revenge whenever we are
offended in some way by others.
It is this willingness to
suffer that would show how, like Christ, we can go all the way to
giving ourselves completely to everyone, irrespective of how they
are. That is also why Christ commanded us, as an integral component
of true love, that we even love our enemies.
In true love, the lover
goes all the way to identifying himself with the beloved with the
view of giving the beloved what is objectively good for both the
lover and the beloved. There is a kind of unification between the
two that is based on what is objectively good for both.
We have to train ourselves
to develop this kind of love. And we can use the usual conditions,
concerns and circumstances in our daily dealings with others to
develop that kind of love. Whenever some differences and conflicts
occur among ourselves, we should be willing to suffer for the
others, bearing their burdens, even if we also try to sort out and
settle these differences and conflicts as peacefully and charitably
This willingness to suffer
should be an active thing, not a passive one, waiting for suffering
to come. We have to look for the opportunities to suffer. That would
be a real proof that we are truly in love. What is more, such
attitude would help us in protecting ourselves from temptations,
sins and all other forms of evil!