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Finding meaning in suffering – 2nd Sunday of Easter
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote: ‘Into each life some rain must fall’
It speaks of a human truth, a great truth that all of the great religions recognize – after all it was Buddha who taught – ‘Life is suffering’. And in the Gospel of John, Jesus says: ‘In this world you will have troubles’.
There is no dishonour in suffering, nothing to reprove ourselves for, all of us will live through times of hardship and of pain many times in our lives – there is no way we can avoid it.
In today’s reading from Acts – a reading that according to the Church Lectionary must be given on this Sunday following Easter, Peter reassures his listeners. That we shall endure, we shall persevere and we will overcome, that we might even come to discover meaning in the suffering.
In today’s Gospel we have a series of comparisons, power vs authority, faith vs deceit, words vs deeds, trust as opposed to cynicism. And there is also a warning, that actions speak far, far louder than all the words in the world.
It is all part of Matthew’s continuing theme where the first shall be last, at least those counted first by worldly standards, and the last, first.
The parable in today’s gospel is usually called ‘The Labourers in the Vineyard’. On the face of it, we are told a fairly simple but slightly odd story about an employer who seems to have some difficulty with identifying how many workers he actually needs to bring in the harvest on his land.
The poem comes from ‘the state of us’ a first collection of poetry by Larry Doherty – ISBN: 978-1-5272-7173-9. Larry Doherty’s debut collection of poetry is eclectic, nuanced and powerful. It reflects his thoughts and feelings on life in these challenging, turbulent, watershed times.