2 Corinthians 4:7-11 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
When Paul defends his own apostleship, his own call by the risen Jesus to become the
apostle to the Gentiles, he acknowledges the many times he suffered for the sake of the gospel message. Some of these doubtlessly caused him great anxiety and hardship. Yet he did not take refuge in the values of the world. When he stumbled, he would pick himself up and move on. Nothing mattered more than proclaiming Jesus Christ, “and him crucified.”
Meditations from the preachers.
From Fr. Andrew Manning
Jesus falls three times in all. The same number of times that Peter Denied him.
And Jesus got up three times – Peter do you love me Jesus asked three times… and he had shown three times how he was willing to fall with Peter and get up and journey on towards the cross.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times should I forgive my brother 7 times Jesus said no seventy seven times – that’s the same as saying every time your brother falls forgive him so that he can get up. Again Jesus is only asking us to do what he himself was prepared to do.
Has something go you down, is there something weighing so heavy on your life that you keep stumbling – follow the way of the Cross. There is no valley too deep, no fall to great that the love of God cannot save you from it. Be of good courage and rise today with Jesus and see this through. God is doing this for you.
Lord, you showed us by your own example that there is no shame in stumbling when the burdens of life become too great for us to bear. May we unite our suffering to yours for the glory of your Father’s kingdom. Amen.