Grow Through What You Go Through

January 19, 2021   Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 312)

Reading I   Heb 6:10-20
Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm   111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10c
R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia   See Eph 1:17-18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to our call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   Mk 2:23-28
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

By Mary Susan Delagrange

The room my daughters share is an absolute garbage pit. It’s a constant battle of back and forth, cleaned up and trashed again, over and over. Right after the holidays we reached a fever pitch. Some new toys became broken due to being left on the floor and then commenced a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, as they say. 

As a parent, I had to guide my girls through the consequences of their choices. I had to help them follow through on their responsibilities, to comfort them in their suffering, to teach them obedience through their pain. 

It was a long, uncomfortable look in the mirror, truth be told. I have my own messes to clean up, after all.

All my life I’ve railed against obedience, causing myself suffering time and time again. I was the kid with the deplorable bedroom. I was the teen abusing food in order to cope. I am the woman prioritizing to-do lists over relationships. I find myself humbled frequently, learning the hard way to be obedient because of my suffering.

Of course even when I’m not directly responsible, suffering comes. Misunderstandings spring up out of nowhere, illness hits, leadership lets me down.  Whatever the cause, suffering rears its ugly head.

After all, pain is a part of the human experience.

I’ve come to believe that I am called to use my pain to grow in holiness whether I think that I “deserve” that pain or not. Christ certainly did nothing to deserve the suffering He endured, and yet He allowed it to draw Him closer to the Father.

“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” (Heb. 5:8) 

Christ was fully human, called forth, set aside, named as Holy, the Son of God...and never once did He opt out of suffering. 

The miraculous truth that strikes me in all this is that I, too, am chosen. I am adopted as God’s child. I am called and set aside, not so that I might lord it over others, but so that I might acknowledge my own sin, embrace my suffering, and grow in obedience like Christ. If the innocent Christ can partner with His pain in order to draw nearer to the Father, so can I. 

So must I. 

And so I keep on working through the messes of life as they come, just like my girls sorting through the debris on their bedroom floor. Much I encounter in messes of my own making, much is inevitable, but either way I am trying my best to partner with Christ in my pain. May the very things that challenge me become the things that unite me to Jesus.


Mary Susan Delagrange is a professional juggler. She juggles four kids, a butcher husband, a highly excitable labradoodle, her birth doula business, and blogs about it all at. A native Texan living in Ohio, she spends her days dreaming of real Mexican food, journaling, drinking too much coffee, and escaping to run in the woods whenever she gets the chance. You can find out more about her here

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