Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened,
you endured a great contest of suffering.
At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction;
at other times you associated yourselves with those so treated.
You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison
and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property,
knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence;
it will have great recompense.
You need endurance to do the will of God
and receive what he has promised. (Heb 10:32-36)
Endurance. According to our friends at Wikipedia, it is “the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.”
I like that definition. It fits in very well with that of a Christian.
We need to remain active in our faith for a long period of time, specifically the amount of time that God has given to us here on earth. We also need to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to a number of things that attempt to impede us while on our faith journey. We need to resist temptation, withstand the wiles of the devil, recover from the times that we sin, and have immunity to a number of things (and people) that would harm us.
Looking at the “job description”, one would come to a very quick conclusion: “It is impossible.” Yes. That is the quick conclusion that could be made if we decided that we needed to do all of that on our own.
Thank God that we do not have to do it on our own, though. God gives us grace upon grace to endure so many things that come our way. One example would be the people who have endured suffering for a long period of time. They always impress me and help me in my faith life. I feel that, if they can make it, so can I. God gives them the strength to endure and, in the process of doing so, they impact the lives of so many others.
Do you find life particularly burdensome from time to time? God can and will give you the grace that you need to endure. As we are reminded in the reading at Mass this day, “Do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense.”
FAITH ACTION: Pray for those who have grown tired of the demands placed upon them in life, that God may grant them the grace of patient endurance.