Tag Archives: trials

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Branded

But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Mk 10:38, cf. v39-40; Lk 12:50)

The baptism that Jesus was referring to here is not water baptism, but the baptism of trials and suffering. When I was young and an unbeliever, I used to wonder, “Why are good kids bullied in school? If the problem is not with them, why are they ostracized for being good?” It took me a while to realize that such kids—coming from good, loving, and often privileged homes, who are meek, good-tempered, and usually bright—are frequently the target of bullies because of jealousy. This is often inexplicable, but the human psyche is not easy to understand. Is it better then for them to renounce their good nature or privilege just to avoid the bullying? Of course not.

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Remembering the Ordinary Blessings from God

Moses makes a point throughout all Deuteronomy to make the Israelites remember the blessings of God during their travel in the wilderness. In chapter 8, he does not mention the great big miracles like crossing the Red Sea or the victorious battles they fought. Rather, he focuses on the very basics—that their feet that were not swollen, their clothes that did not wear out, and that they were fed with manna every single day. In fact, Moses mentions it twice in the entire book (29:5).

Often, these are the things that we take most easily for granted. Continue reading