The Gospel today was from the Book of Mark where James and John want the seats of honor in the New Kingdom of Glory. Jesus tells them they surly will be drinking the cup of suffering and woe that is a baptism of kind that keep them in the same calling as His. However to those seats of honor are for others. The whole concept of following Jesus means that one will be drinking a cup of suffering just as he has.
I follow Suzanne Guthrie’s blog, Come to the Garden (she attended and graduated from the same semniary as I did).
From Suzanne Guthries’ blog [http://ammaguthrie.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/soul-devouring-poverty/ ] Suzanne says near the end…
“Suffering opens my soul to love. And when my suffering meets God’s suffering, we become one in that suffering, incarnate in the world, bearing this suffering for I-Know-Not-What. Christian practice helps me to trust living in the incomprehensible vortex of the cross. My suffering, your suffering, God’s suffering, bringing forth new life. How can I bear this joy?” -Suzanne
A fellow reader Tony Burkart replies: October 16, 2012 at 2:23
“I can’t help but think of Flannery O’Conner’s short story, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” Amidst horrendous circumstances, eyes meet, soul’s melt for a fraction of temporal time, not a Hollywood ending but something profoundly changes in the reader if personal vulnerability fuses with Grace.”
This leads me to wonder just how does one’s vulnerability fuse with Grace? It sounds delightful and encouraging that one in the midst of weakness, calamity, desease, can be “fused” with “hope” or God’s Grace.
Okay, but how does one understand what that means? What does it mean this “fused”? Is it a communion of soul and mind, that one can feel and understand? Or can we only hope and trust that Grace is holding us up?
I wonder do we need stories like the one Tony refers to in his reply to illustrate the experience? Can this experience of being fused with grace be understood by recognizing or identifying with what seems to be said in this description of sharing suffering? I wonder too if this idea of “being fused with grace” can be communicated to one who has not experienced this sharing of suffering or grace? Am I making myself clear?