Sunday Stride – We aren’t called to suffer alone.

I almost didn’t write a reflection for this Sunday. The readings are about the necessity of suffering, not an easy topic.

I read the readings readings on Friday and let them marinate for the last couple days while I watched a super dramatic made for Netflix show about ice skating. I mean this show had all the best things – mixed up relationships, last minute injuries, suffering for your art. This is the kinda show I waste hours on. Plus I probably still secretly dream of being an ice skater. Guess it’s a little late for that!

In addition to the normal drama, the show also had an underlying story line about mental health. The main actress and her mom had bipolar disorder. For most of the episodes, they hid this fact from friends and family. And it destroyed everyone around them. It’s like they believed the cross they had to bear was theirs alone to hold.

When I finished the last and final episode (stupid Netflix cancelled it after one season!), I went back to Peter in the Gospel. I listened to Jesus tell his friends honestly and openly of the suffering and pain that awaited Him. And I read as Peter pull Jesus aside quickly to say – “Let’s not talk about that suffering stuff, Lord. You are the Lord! God forbid that happens to you!” I could almost hear Peter saying “don’t talk about all that suffering, Lord. You’re bringing everybody down! And it can’t even be true!”

But without missing a beat, the Lord rebukes him. Jesus reminds Peter that even the Lord, the Son of God is not immune to suffering. Jesus reminds Peter that we all have crosses we must bear. 

And by speaking openly about the cross He was to carry, he reminded us we don’t have to bear them alone. 

So let us enter this week learning from the wisdom of the Lord. If you need help, ask for it. Let someone help you carry your cross. Help someone carry theirs. And let us walk through our trials together towards the promise of the Kingdom ahead.

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