It is said that misery loves company. I’m sure we all know people who are never happier than when they are miserable. There are people who find some kind of consolation in dragging others down to their level of misery. More profoundly it can be said that challenge loves company. Almost everyone takes courage from the realisation that other people have met much the same challenges that we do and have overcome them. There’s nothing more lonely and discouraging than to find oneself in a struggle all alone.
The Letter to the Hebrews was written to give courage and support to a community of Christians who had lost heart and had grown lukewarm in their new-found faith. Their first fervour had cooled and a spiritual lethargy had set in. The unknown author of the Letter jogs their memories about the heroes of the past and all that they endured in the Lord’s name. The point was that God wasn’t asking more of them than he had of the Jews. And God doesn’t ask more of us than he did of his own Son.
From our communion with Our Lord we should draw strength to be enthusiastic and persevering, after all Our Lord has already overcome the demons that afflict us, whether they are the demons of lethargy or despair.
And our communion is not only with Our Lord but with all those who are in union with him. The people we see around us at Mass each day have their own set of struggles to contend with, and they draw from the same source of strength we do. In the battles of life, we never stand alone. We should see life, not as a misery, but as a challenge, and in facing that challenge we are in good company.