How could I explain to my grieving friend that I was sure his wife, who had fought and suffered physically, emotionally, and even spiritually, was now in the hands of a loving God?
In today’s powerful and inspirational first reading, we find the reassurance my friend needed. God is with us through it all, and when our earthly journey is over, we will find everlasting peace. Our afflictions and trials on earth really do have redeeming value and they are meant to be offered to God, just as Jesus offered his suffering and life for us.
Our journey through life, in the ups and the downs, are forming us to become more and more in the image of God … tried like gold in the furnace! Our earthly bodies may be breaking down but our souls are being built up. One day we will shine and not be constrained by earthly trials!
With your family, think of some examples of painful times or experiences you have been through. Did these experiences change you? If so, in what way? Did they strengthen your faith?
I pray each of you may grow in your understanding and living this great promise and reality.