Saturday, March 18, 2017

You Have Need of Endurance

The third week of the Great Fast has come to an end. Tomorrow is the Feast of the Universal Elevation of the Holy Cross and two things come to mind. First is the reality that suffering is a real part of life, and the second is related to the first. More than anything we need endurance. Whether it is to make it through the Great Fast or to survive the struggle that life has thrown at us, endurance is the key to our success.

One important benefit that many do not consider from fasting is that of endurance. When we spend weeks fasting for Great Lent, we learn not only patience and vigilance. We learn the importance of endurance. In today’s reading from Hebrews Saint Paul says, “For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.”

God knows the challenges of living the Christian life in a secular and often non Christian world. He knows that we are faced with temptations around every corner. He knows that we can become weak if we are under attack more than we can endure, so He offers us a chance to practice endurance. If you can master the Great Fast, you can master any struggle that life offers. Just another blessing of the Great Fast.

Here are today’s Readings:
Epistle Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 10:32-38 (RSV) - Brethren, recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.  For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that you may do the will of God and receive what is promised.  "For yet a little while, and the coming one shall come and shall not tarry; but my righteous one shall live by faith."
 Gospel Reading: Mark 2:14-17 (RSV) - At that time, as Jesus passed on, he saw Levi the son of Alphaios sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him. And as he sat at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were sitting with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

No comments: