November 26, 2022

What or who is the cause of my suffering? Why am I suffering?
I received a text message today and it reads: “Painful truth is, suffering and hardship are mostly caused by people we care for and love. It is easy to fight back and get revenge if they are caused by strangers. That is why I always choose to heal in silence and with the passing of time because I cannot afford to get revenge against the people I care.”
We cannot evade suffering, aging, and death, which are realities of life, painful they may be. We cannot escape them but at least we can manage them properly.
Science will treat these human realities as parts of life but with faith, we can treat and see these human realities as essential elements of life that must lead us to a higher understanding of life. It is not a sheer physiological life but there is life beyond, and we call it metaphysics.
There are many kinds of suffering. We can experience them in different degrees. Some are caused by nature, by oneself, or by other people.
Jesus was not spared from suffering. His suffering even went beyond His human capacity to the point that He expressed it on the cross, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” But His faith to the Father overcame His humanity when He entrusted everything to the Father: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
November is offered for the praying of the souls of our departed brethren. We are morally and spiritually mandated to remember the dead in our daily prayers and this month allows us to do so.
If we did not yet light candles at the graves of our beloved dead for important reasons, let us not end November without visiting their graves to light candles and pray for them. Sending their names to priests for Holy Masses is another best practice we must not neglect. The Holy Eucharist is the highest form of offering for the atonement of sins and for spiritual gifts.
The 2nd Book of Maccabees is clear with praying for the dead and it underlines the forgiveness of sins and the strong conviction of resurrection.
“They all therefore praised the ways of the Lord, the just judge who brings to light the things that are hidden.
Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen.
He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this, he acted in an excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection in mind; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.
Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be absolved from their sin.”
This is so far the earliest proofs regarding the efficacy of prayers and offerings for the dead and about the resurrection of the dead. Disbelief in the resurrection of the dead is the worst kind of death because a non-believer already declared his or her eternal death and eternal damnation.
Eternal life can mean eternal damnation or perpetual life with God. Heaven and hell are aspects of spirituality that should lead us to ponder profoundly regarding justice. God is a God of the living. He is not a God of the dead. God is not a punishing God but he is a God of impartiality. God is a God of mercy and compassion but he is a God of justice.
Salvation is in Jesus. The name “Jesus” speaks it all, it means God saves.
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