“Cast all your cares on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
It is a great statement about the kindness, mercy, patience, and love of God that St. Peter tells us that we ought to cast our cares on Christ because he cares for us. It is we humans who get tired of “listening to all your complaining”. We are the ones who tire of a “negative Nora.” We are the ones who have to be constantly reminded to “be positive” by the psychobabble preachers.
It is rare in this world to find a person who will listen to us complain all day and still want to be around us. That is why the word “patience” in the Greek language of the New Testament is a compound word that literally means “long+suffering”. To have patience can mean to suffer a long time with someone.
We, in the United States especially, want to fix things. We can hear it when the President says, “We, when we work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve.” What he means is “we can fix anything when we work together.” We are “fix it” people. One of the most aggravating things about dealing with people is that we cannot fix them. They are not “fix its”.
Every person has regrets, disappointments, profound losses, hurts, aggravations, and unrepented sins; everyone. As the 1970s soft rock group Steely Dan sang, “You smile for the camera, but I know you better.” We hide it because of the pressure we put on each other to be strong and positive.
The truth is that sometimes we just cannot be strong. Sometimes we are worn out, burnt out, tired out, and just out out. Sometimes the cares of the world wash over us a like a tsunami of pain. Our faith is not about escaping that pain. If it were, then Jesus would not have had to accept his fate to be betrayed, beaten, unfairly convicted at a sham trial, beaten again, forced to carry his cross to his place of death, had nails driven through his hands and feet as an innocent man, then hung in a garbage heap as an insurrectionist until he died of his heart exploding from the trauma which crucifixion inflicts on a human body.
I say in the Eucharistic Prayer, “a death he freely accepted.” He accepted it because although he felt abandoned, he knew he wasn’t abandoned. He wasn’t abandoned because the Father in heaven wants us to cast all our cares on Jesus because he cares for us. We cast all our cares on him and nail them to the Cross with Jesus and let them die there with him. They are redeemed with him in his resurrection.
In fact, that is the truth about life: God doesn’t shield us from pain and suffering; he redeems our pain and suffering to make us new, better because of the long suffering. If we stay in the pain, then we are staying in our own crucifixion. If we cast our cares on Jesus and complain, complain, and complain, then we will be taken down from that Cross, laid in the tomb, and be resurrected with Christ.
We will be new creations who are more tender, more patient, more loving to others who also suffer because we suffer. Similarly, Jesus came for the purpose of suffering because we suffer, says Hebrews 2. Having known how we suffer, he can listen to our hurts, complaints, injustices, losses, and the crying out from the depths of our soul all day, every day, until we are ready to be resurrected.
Cast your cares on him, brothers and sisters, because he cares for you.