1. How are we to account for Christ’s desire to suffer? Human nature shrinks from suffering and dreads it, and none of the sons of men was ever so sensitive as He, or had sufferings to look forward to in any way comparable to His. Yet in spite of this Christ longed for His sufferings. O wondrous love, that not only suffered for us, but longed for the time when His Passion should come!
2. Was it the suffering in itself for which Christ longed? Impossible. It was for the result of that suffering, for the joy that was set before Him, that He endured the cross and despised the shame. Even Christ could not work without the prospect of some reward. So we should encourage ourselves with the thought of the glorious recompense God will give to all who suffer for Him and who unite their sufferings to the sacred sufferings of the Son of God.
3. But what sort of reward was that to which the Son of God looked forward? It was no selfish reward. It was the pure, unselfish joy of seeing others happy, of knowing that by all He was to endure millions of mankind would be freed from the eternal misery of hell, and raised to the eternal and unspeakable joy of the beatific vision. He knew that it was by sufferings that graces must be won for others. This lesson, too, the saints learned from their Master. How have I learned it? Do I recognize the necessity, the dignity, the happiness of suffering?
Source: Clarke, R. F. (1889). The Sacred Passion of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations for Every Day in Lent (p. 11). Benziger Brothers.