A Leader Serves by Suffering
“The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.”
29th SUN ORDINARY TIME
In the final stage of a deadly game two friends remained to fight each other to the death. The one who gets to kill the other gets the final cash prize of billions of dollars. In the end one friend alone was standing and was already about to kill the fallen one. But then he decided to quit because he couldn’t get himself to kill his friend. However the rule was that If no one dies no one gets the prize money. And so to the surprise of the one standing, the one on the ground stabbed himself at the neck. His dying words were “take care of my mother”.
We wonder if there was no other way to help the friend except by dying to oneself. It is absurd that one must die so that the other could live happily.
Suffering saves it seems. And death actually gives birth to life – as when the man dying of brain tumor literally gives his heart to the wife also dying of weak heart. That is what Isaiah says of the Suffering Servant.
“The LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity. Through his suffering His servant shall justify many.” Is 53:10-11.
Yet Jesus tells His apostles that not only He would suffer, but everyone who follows Him would. This is what He meant when He told James and John, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.” Mark 10:35-45.
Everyone suffers without exemption. One cannot complain if he suffers. A barefoot person only needs to find the one without feet to stop whining.
Yet not to worry Jesus would sympathize with us in our suffering. In the letter to the Hebrews it is said: “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.” If we suffer Jesus would support us. He had been there in fact he has been in situations far worse than our own. Furthermore our pain fits perfectly our capacity to bear it. We won’t be tried beyond our strength.
Jesus is the Leader who serves through suffering. Pray for leaders in Church and government to be like Him.