2 Maccabees 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1
2 Corinthians 1:5-7 For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow. If we are afflicted, it is for your encouragement and salvation; if we are encouraged, it is for your encouragement, which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is firm, for we know that as you share in the sufferings, you also share in the encouragement.
As we approach the culmination of the liturgical year, a message of hope and encouragement from Saint Paul. As I’ve become truly involved with different groups at my parish – and aging is undoubtedly a contributor too – I’ve come to know how suffering is a universal human experience, and when Jesus says “Take up your cross and follow me”, the suffering has meaning. But while I can’t say to another person “I know how you feel” in recognition of their suffering, Jesus can because he underwent perhaps the most painful ordeal any human being has ever experienced. Yes, he does know how you feel. If you haven’t started, I encourage you to seek making him the truest friend in your life.