It is difficult for non-believers and believers alike to understand, let alone accept, that God can relate to our regrets, sorrows and suffering. How can a perfect being empathize with the imperfect? How can God feel what we feel as we endure the challenges of a chaotic and often merciless world; a world that, in the end, plays no favorites?
This brings to mind the question; Has God ever suffered?
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, through his wisdom, provides an answer to this question.
“Does God know anything about pain? Does God know what I suffer? Did God ever have a migraine headache, as if his head was crowned with thorns? Does God know anything about wounded hands and feet that are brought into to the accident wards of hospitals? Does God know anything about the starvation in India and Africa? Did he ever go without food for two days? Or three? Or five? Does he know anything about thirst? Does God know anything about homelessness? Was he ever without a home? Does he know what it is to be refugee? To flee from one country to another? Does he know what it is to be in jail? To be the victim of scourging? Does he know any of these things? Yes. God is in Christ reconciling the world to himself.”
By reflecting on what the Archbishop has said, it can be seen that we and God are connected. However, we must wonder how this can have come to be with such a chasm that separates us from Him. Man himself is incapable of traversing such an expanse.
In all the major religions of the world, man reaches out to God; with all his petitions, praise and sorrows. Yet only through Christianity does God come to man. That is how the chasm is bridged. And by being here He made himself available to all that we experience. He was like us in all things; suffered all things, including temptation. He was marked by all that marks man save sin. For He is God incarnate and by His divine nature is incapable of sin. However, He feels the pain we feel because He gave Himself to it on the cross. And by His sacrifice we are saved from the ravages of sin.
“But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. – Isaias 53:5
This is how we are united with God. Through the second person of the Holy Trinity we come to know the love of God for us. We find ourselves recipients of a love that is yet beyond our capacity to fully comprehend. We come to know that His love comes with a price. A price to be paid, not by us, but by Him. Because only God could bear such extreme demands of body, mind and spirit. Have you ever wondered how and why you are able to endure the pain and suffering from your trials; when you thought it impossible? You are able to, and will always be able to, because all has passed through Him first.
There is yet another important benefit that we fortunates receive through this union. Christ’s intercession for us ended not on the cross, but continues to this day. Even though the imprudent exercise of free will by men and women has wrought disorder upon the world, and sadly, at times, in the name of God; still Christ stays God’s Hand and gains Divine Mercy for the contrite of heart. He gains this favor for us by showing God the scars He received in paying the debt for our salvation; and further supports His plea on our behalf by saying: “See how I love them.”