In this reading, we find words of encouragement for a community that is suffering great persecution and fully expecting the end times to come in their own lifetimes. In our own context, we might find this reading a bit difficult to identify with, particularly since we live in a Judeo-Christian culture some 2,000 years later. Yet, there is a word of grace here for those times when we feel we are unfairly suffering.
Difficulties in life help us to remember the suffering of Christ and to know that he, too, experienced disappointment, betrayal, fear, brutality, pain, and abandonment. This makes his promise of mercy, grace, and presence all the more powerful.
Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all the ways Jesus comes alongside you throughout the difficulties of life.