Because Christ took on our flesh and suffered for us, says St. Gregory the Great, we can know that we will also overcome our own suffering.
How much this humiliation gave all the faithful was proved first by the most blessed Apostle Peter. After the fierce blast of threatening cruelty had dismayed him, he quickly changed, and his strength was restored, finding his remedy in the great model, so that the member who had been suddenly shaken returned to the firmness of the Head.
For the servant could not be greater than the Lord, and the disciple could not be greater than the Master. He could not have vanquished the trembling of human frailty if the Vanquisher of death had not first feared.
Thus the Lord looked back at Peter. Amidst the calumnies of priests, the perjuries of witnesses, the injuries of those who scourged and spat on him, he met his dismayed disciple with those eyes that had foreseen his dismay. And the gaze of the Truth entered into him whose heart had to be corrected—as if the Lord’s voice were making itself heard there, saying, “Where are you going, Peter? Why are you turning in on yourself ? Turn to me. Put your trust in me. Follow me. The hour of your suffering has not come yet. Why do you fear what you too will overcome? Do not let the weakness in which I share confound you. I was fearful for you; now you be confident in me.”
–St. Gregory the Great, Sermon 44, 5
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
What do I fear the most right now?
How can the weakness of Christ give me strength to endure even what I fear most?
Father, send your Spirit to make my heart clean to welcome the Lord Jesus, so that he might be glad to come in and accept my heart’s hospitality.