Let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. Hebrews 1-4
In the readings after the Resurrection, we see the struggling, fledgling church and those believers who were on a path never under taken before. These readings have purpose for us today. We are really very much like the early Christians, Christ has been taken away from us in a physical sense. The secular world would like to stamp out His existence like the Sanhedrin and the Romans of His time. St. Paul likens this struggle to a race. In having been a runner for many years I know what a struggle it can be at times. Endurance takes focus (eyes fixed on Jesus), there are times when you are uncomfortable or in pain, or tired. Endurance takes practice and daily gains, a little at first, greater as time goes on. That is why to be truly Christian is a daily conversion. Some days I am a terrible sinner, but St. Paul exhorts us to rid ourselves of the burden of sin. Not by ignoring it or by dismissing it, but by seeking His forgiveness and repenting and truly working on it. Christ endured the cross, and despite the fact that as look around we see a godless society, devoid of faith and truth, we must ask ourselves "what have we endured"?