You may have heard that the “real me” inside each of us comes out in difficult moments; in extreme moments, we discover how much we can endure. Maybe this is the reason why not every person can accomplish all of the tasks of our lives, because in the most difficult moments we may give up.
Endurance is essential in all that we are. In the spiritual world, we call this perseverance. We learn of Jesus’ perseverance in today’s gospel reading.
Jesus’ Passion is quickly approaching; the most difficult moments of his life are ahead, and he is troubled. Yet the gospel shows us a wonderful way to overcome fear: Jesus was conscious of his call, the mission he had in this world: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12:27-28).
Our life is not always easy. We struggle, we suffer, we make mistakes, but we can overcome all those things. Our annual commemoration of Holy Week – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord – should inspire us never to give up, even in the most difficult times. It should also help to renew our commitment to our mission in this world. It is in fulfilling that mission that we glorify the name of the Father.
It is true that we are sometimes afraid, scared when we consider what could be a different and seemingly better path. Yet, even though the other way may seem easier, it is not our path and we will not find happiness there.
Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection still inspires us; as the gospel indicates: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Sometimes the effort, the sacrifice and the commitment to the things we believe inspire and attract people to us. I love the teachings of Jesus, and I am convinced that they are amazing; it his life, his commitment to life, the purpose of his life even to death on the cross what has inspired people since the beginning.
I repeat the question, “What should we do in difficult times?” The answer: Continue along our path, renew our commitment, and be an inspiration to others, like Jesus, about whom the author of the letter to the Hebrews writes in today’s second reading: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Even if we slow down at times because of the challenges we face, we should never stop. As Abraham Lincoln is quoted to have said: “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” We walk together in this Lenten Season; even in the difficulties that we encounter, it is the only way to arrive at the Resurrection.