“Pain” – From Latin: poena, meaning ” torment, hardship”; ” condition one feels when hurt, opposite of pleasure” and “punishment.” “Suffering” – From Latin: sufferer,meaning “to bear, undergo, endure, carry or put under.”
The Pain and Suffering of Jesus (Catechism and Bible references noted; for other references regarding the pain and suffering of Jesus, see footnote below).
- Experiences the pain of being human – Jesus “became flesh in assuming a true humanity“ (CCC 476) and felt the many physical and emotional pains of being human. Thomas Aquinas assures us that “Christ endured every human suffering” and that “Christ’s pain was the very greatest.” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae; III, q. 46).
- From an early age, Jesus feels a longing for the Father – At 12, Jesus feels the longing for God in the temple, though He obediently returns with Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:41-50).
- Suffers during the Temptation – Jesus fasts for 40 days and felt hunger (Matt 4:2).
- Lives a physically demanding life – A first century carpenter needed great physical strength and stamina and Jesus experienced fatigue and soreness. As itinerant preacher, Jesus walked many miles (one source suggests almost circumference of the earth; 25,000 miles) and felt fatigue.
- Anticipates the great suffering of the Passion – As early as the Marriage at Cana, Jesus realizes that His “Hour” is coming (John 2:4). He predicts His Crucifixion and death multiple times.
- Feels sorrow – Prior to raising Lazarus from the dead, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35). Later, after the cleansing of the Temple, Jesus poignantly laments and weeps over the waywardness of the people of Israel (Matt 23:37-39; Luke 19:41-44).
- Experiences the desecration of His Father’s House – He violently cleanses the temple of the money-changers and traders which He refers to as a “den of robbers” (Mark 11:17). The disciples interpret Christ’s emotion as “zeal” (John 2:17). (more…)