“The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Luke 9:22)
The easiest part of a journey is its beginning. At the start of a race or a new habit, one is usually excited but with time, all that excitement wears off. It is often said that when the going becomes tough, only the tough gets going. You soon reach a point where you feel like giving up completely. Ironically, it is at such moments that are closest to victory. As the saying goes, the darkest part of the night is just before daybreak.
Addressing the leaders and people of Israel, Haggai in today’s first reading says: “Yet now TAKE COURAGE, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; TAKE COURAGE, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; TAKE COURAGE, all you people of the land, says the Lord… My Spirit abides among you; FEAR NOT. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.” (Haggai 2:4-6).
Courage is not merely the absence of fear, it is the knowledge that God is alive and He is with you always. Jesus knew that achieving salvation for mankind was not going to happen on a platter of gold hence He said: “The Son of man MUST SUFFER many things, and be REJECTED by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be KILLED, and on the third day be RAISED.” (Luke 9:23).
One lesson we learn from Jesus is the need to always tell ourselves this truth: “It is not going to be easy but glory awaits me in the end.” Faith in God is not a shield against tough times; it is the motivation to push through despite the obstacles. Take courage, you are closer to daybreak than you think. You have tried and failed many times, go back and try again.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus my big brother, grant me the grace of Courage especially when it matters most. Amen.
Bible Study: Haggai 2, 1 to 9, Psalm 43 and Luke 9, 18 to 22).