Thorns And Suffering
Did you ever experience the pain of getting “stuck” by a thorn? We have a rose bush in our back yard and I’ve felt the pain of the thorns many times. It usually happens when I’m trying to prune one of the branches or turn on the garden hose. Even though I’m aware of the thorns, I always seem to grab the plant in the wrong place and feel that sudden piercing sensation. My immediate reaction is to quickly pull my hand away in order to stop the pain. Now imagine that, instead of pulling away, I squeezed the rose bush harder so that the thorn would penetrate deeper into my flesh. After that, I take my other hand, locate more thorns and squeeze as tight as I can. You can almost feel the pain, right?
While the above scenario is completely hypothetical, there once was a man who experienced numerous thorns being driven deeper and deeper into his head. There was no pulling away or relief from the pain. Furthermore, the thorns were only part of what he endured. There was also a brutal scourging in which the flesh was ripped from his body. There was also agonizing suffering as he was nailed to a cross. Eventually he died on that cross, but only after suffering terrible pain.
By now I’m sure you realize that I’m referring to Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. He endured all of that suffering to atone for our sins. Our sinful behavior is the cause for The Lord’s pain. What can we do about it now? We can use the remaining days of Lent to take a closer look at our lives and indentify those areas which need improvement. Then we can seek out God’s forgiveness though the Sacrament of Confession.
Do you remember my story about pulling away from the thorn to relieve the pain? Don’t you wish that there was a way for you to somehow do that for Jesus? Each time you avoid committing a sin, it’s as if you’re taking one of the thorns that pierced Our Lord’s head and pulling it out of His skin.
Isn’t that the least we can do?