In the bodybuilding world, the idiom "No pain, no gain" is proven to be true. In the spiritual world, it applies also. If we live an easy, comfortable life with no money or health problems whatsoever and with everything going our way, I doubt that we'll ever make any progress spiritually. On the other hand, as is made clear in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, the Sermon on the Mount: God blesses the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, and those who are insulted and persecuted and against whom every kind of evil is uttered falsely because of Christ. Their reward will be great in heaven.