Subject: Oxygen for Your Week. Accidents or Godcidence?

THIS WEEK: Jesus sends 12 without anything to do everything.
Mark 6:7-13 
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Many might regard this past week as difficult. 

I would not have chosen to have my face tattooed by gravel, both elbows broken resulting from a poorly placed barrier on a bike path. I would not have chosen for my niece to undergo multiple life-saving surgeries at the tender age of 10. I would not have chosen for my sister-in-law, a young wife and mother of five, to be diagnosed with multiple cancers.

In Jesus Christ God reveals to us our truest identity and mission. God did not spare His own Son (Romans 8:32). Suffering is the occasion for our transformation, and that of the world-- to "make up for what is lacking in the suffering of Christ" (Col. 1:24). We are never closer to God than in our suffering.

Suffering is God's means of drawing us more deeply into His own heart, with the power in Jesus Christ to change the world. Each of the above occasions continue to be profound... uniting literally hundreds, if not thousands-- in the heart of God, in prayer that I can tell you is having evident impact.

St. Rose of Lima shares her vision:

"Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: 'Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.'"

Though suffering is not something any of us should seek and, in fact, it is something we should work to minimize (Jesus healed and heals many)- when it happens know God is at work. With suffering we're being invited more deeply into His heart. His attentiveness to our prayers is particularly powerful. Don't see suffering as accidental. You are never closer to God than in your suffering. 

Be moved beyond fleeting conviction to all-in commitment. Our world needs us.

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