By Sara Kohl
The flow of today’s first reading into the Psalm seems seamless: Jeremiah’s plea for salvation to the Psalmist’s call for the kindness of the Lord. Both writers are in the hands of their enemies and looking to the Lord’s hand to rescue them. Their humble prayers of surrender seem simple, yet this is always where I go wrong.
My continual struggle with a specific mental illness reached its peak throughout my years in undergrad. I went time and time again to prayer, begging God for healing. Though He was slowly and gently bringing me the redemption I was seeking, I still agonized over what seemed like a battle I was fighting alone.
Jeremiah took the question right out of my mouth: “Must good be repaid with evil…?” (Jeremiah 18:20). Must this suffering persist in my life even though I am faithful in prayer? Must my sacrifices for my family go unnoticed? Must I still struggle with this sin despite my efforts to be detached from it?
Of course, Jesus has already heard my prayer and answered my question—the Resurrection.
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
The Redemptive Suffering Jesus is referring to in the Gospel is often twisted into the mindset that the Lord wants you to suffer in order for you to be worthy of His love. How much this thought must sadden our Savior!
Redemptive Suffering is looking to the cross and remembering the Resurrection. Redemptive Suffering is the Lord knowing my heavy heart in my college years and using my continual offering of it to Him as a way to benefit the Body of Christ, that is, His Church. If nothing else, Redemptive Suffering is teaching me to love Him better, which has always been the true longing of my heart.
How has the Lord heard your cry to Him for His kindness? What are you still asking of Him, and how is the waiting leading you to love Him and those around you more fully?
About the author:
Sara Kohl is a Senior in college from Minnesota where she finds peace and joy in the mundane, such as morning runs, Monday night football, and using all the groceries in the refrigerator. A lover of photography and letter writing, Sara strives to live fully through imitating the virtues of the Blessed Mother in each relationship and in every task; like we said, she’s striving!