Tuesday, February 7, 2017

His weakness enables our strength


St Gregory the Great tells us today in A Year with the Church Fathers that God's weakness enables our strength. Sounds backwards, doesn't it?

I mean, we hear all the time about His strength being made perfect in our weakness. But how does His weakness give us strength?

As St Gregory points out, Jesus took on the full weakness of humankind. He not only became a man, but He was beaten and humiliated and then died as a public atrocity on a cross. And that weakness... that submitting to torture and murder at human hands... gives us strength.

St Gregory tells us that the disciples saw what happened to Jesus. And then they saw Him rise from the dead, defeating sin and torture and death forever. And that gave THEM the strength that they needed to face their own martyrdom.

It also gives US strength to face the pain and trials in our lives. It enables us to see that, though there is pain and torture and death right now, that the resurrection is coming. Jesus didn't just rise from the dead Himself (though that would have been amazing enough)... He rose from the dead FIRST. First among many. First, including US in those who follow after Him.

So we can find strength in His weakness. We can see that if He can suffer for us, we can endure our suffering for Him.

Thank You, God, for the pain which we are privileged to share with You. Please help us to gain strength from Your weakness.