Day 37 – Lift Jesus Higher




As we are invited to remain close to Jesus, we will be able to witness clearly and firsthand how much Jesus has suffered for us. This is done through meditating on the Gospel. This is crucial as we strive to build an intimate relationship with God, which will then sustain our spiritual growth.

If we do not know how much God is willing to suffer for us, we do not know how to appreciate God's love. This lack of appreciation weakens the awareness of our identity which results in a distortion of perspectives and values in our lives.

The life of Jesus was filled with trials, temptations, sufferings and persecutions, which were out of proportion in his short three years of public ministry. For whom did He embrace all those pains and sufferings. If not for us, His sacrifices would have been in vain!

If Jesus, being God Himself, took on all those hardships and struggles in life, should we be exempted?

We have heard so many people praying for a smooth and non-eventful golden age with a happy death without sicknesses and pain. Humanly speaking, no one loves sufferings. Yet, is a life without sufferings the best route to Heaven? Yesterday, we mentioned that being close to Jesus holds the key to heaven. But being close to Jesus also guarantees pain and sufferings.

Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

(Luke 9:23)

These are called the "Conditions of Discipleship" for being genuine followers of Christ. Life is much easier for fake followers of Christ. They reject suffering and enjoy status and comfort of living. They lay burdens and look down on others while lifting themselves up to be glorified. That is the path of the Pharisees. As Jesus told them the parable of the lost son, He intently warned them of their role as the elder son to highlight their hypocrisy. Yet, Jesus also wanted to tell them that they were equally loved by the Father.

The father said to the elder son, "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours."

(Luke 15:31)

The elder son must have thought to himself, "It is not right for this wayward son to receive more than what I deserve. I have worked so hard over the years! If I had known that it would be so easy to receive the same reward, I would have done what he did and just enjoyed life! There is something wrong here!"

The blessings lie not only in the final rewards, but also in being with the Father. The blessings are also given along the journey, through labours and sufferings, which are part of the conditions of discipleship mentioned above.

There is a saying "Blessings in Disguise". Let us taste and see what it means and to fully embrace this perspective in our lives. This beautiful concept invites us to treasure every learning opportunity from God, to accept our own weaknesses and limitations, to embrace our sinfulness and brokenness, to abandon our preferences and personal ambitions, to offer up our sacrifices and vulnerabilities, and to be naked without shame before God!

With the eyes of faith, the curses and ugliness we experience in life have transformed into blessings. Our sufferings and our brokenness beg for God's compassionate mercy and His tender love to heal our wounds and soothe our pains! From this we know there is no limit and boundary in His abundant graces! His mercy is like a vast ocean. No human conditions can escape this powerful stream of love only if we allow it to flow into our lives. The blood and water that flow from His opened side cleanse and purify us, overwhelming us with His Divine Love and Mercy!

Let us all LIFT JESUS HIGHER so that His merciful love will flow like a broken dam flooding the whole mankind to draw all people to Jesus.

(John 12:32)

God knows that we cannot repay His love for us. He settles with the offering of our labours and pains, sacrifices and vulnerabilities, and most importantly, our will and our sins to our Lord! As we enter into the climax of the Holy Week, let us also put on the armour of Christ to accompany and stand by Jesus through His Passion, and dive into the Heart of the Suffering Jesus!


Are you avoiding sufferings and pains at all cost? Can you look beyond and see the blessings behind each opportunity to suffer for Christ?

Do you know that our rejection of our own sufferings is to deny the values and meaning of Christ's suffering and death for us?

Would you choose to endure earthly sufferings so as to enjoy eternal joy and reward, or to indulge in earthly pleasures only to endure eternal punishment?


Dear Jesus, thank you for pointing out to me that the focus in life is not on what I have given but what I have been gifted, not on my sufferings but on the hidden blessings, not on the rewards of my labour but on the joy of Your companionship throughout the journey, and not on my sinfulness but on Your infinite mercy! How this shift of my perspective changes the whole world for me! The lens through which I looked at the world was so distorted. That is why I had been living in grudges and pain! I pray that this new awareness will draw me closer to You and Your Sacred Heart! Finally, I have come to realize that there is really no reason for me to be puffed with conceit! I am nothing without Your redemptive love. Put on me a cloak of humility so that I can embrace every trial and suffering in life alongside with You! I ask this in Your Sacred Name. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Song: Blessings
Artist: Laura Story
"There is a blessedness that comes through waiting on the Lord. There’s an intimacy that comes in our walk with the Lord through walking through that valley. There’s a reliance on His word that we only know when everything else fades away…" – Laura Story, Singer & Songwriter

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