Today St. Paul gets to the very heart of why we as Christians hope with a series of questions.
If God is for us, who can be against us? ...
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?...
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.
That's the good news, the most important truth, but also the part we like to hear.
Tucked into the middle is the other part, the part we would like to avoid.
For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.
We want a share in the ressurection, we have to accept our share of the crucifixion. There is no going around Good Friday. Most importantly suffering does not mean you have been bad and God is punishing you. On the contrary, it may we be precisely because of your willingness to stand with Christ that you suffer.
But we must stay focused on the good news, that in all these things we conquer. We never fear. We never loose hope. We trust in the absolute love and power of God.