For the next few days, we will be running another Bellator Society series. In the spirit of Lent and all the giving up, fasting, abstaining, and praying we are doing in these holy days of Lent, we want to dig a little deeper into what it means to “offer it up”!
Do you have a mother? Is she Catholic? Then, there is an astronomically good chance that you heard the words “Offer it up” at least once during your childhood. In fact, if you had a dime for every time. . .well, let’s just say that your Lenten rice bowl might get pretty full.
Before we dive in to the nitty gritty this week, we just wanted to spend this first day of the series breaking down the phrase. Offer. It. Up.
What does it mean to offer something? Very simply it is a presentation to another. It is a readiness to give. We offer things all the time—a drink, a helping hand, advice. Sometimes our offers are accepted, sometimes they are refused. But, regardless, to offer something is a demonstration of a bend in my will, a recognition of someone outside of myself who may have a need or a want that I can supply.
What are we offering? Technically, anything. But, in Catholic Mom lingo “it” is usually some kind of suffering. We freely present our suffering. It is an acknowledgment of our human condition—I am hurt, I am hungry, I angry, I am too tired, I am scared, I am worried, I am weak.
This is the direction of our offering. Up, in this specific sense, is toward God. To be even more specific, it can be directed toward on Jesus on His Cross. When we say, “offer it up” we are giving our suffering to the Lord for Him to use for His good purpose. We offer Him our weaknesses and ask that they be nailed alongside Him, crucified and transformed.
And this is as Biblical as it is Catholic mom theology.
St. Paul writes,
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.”
As Christians, we are called not only to take up our crosses, but also to unite them with the all-sufficient, redemptive Cross of Jesus Christ. Our suffering matters to Him. And because of our participation in the Body of Christ, the Church, we have the most beautiful opportunity to draw closer to Him and participate in His mission.
Join us this week as we consider how our suffering matters and what good may come of it!