St. Paul, subordinate clause maestro, is difficult to read in translation. (Which is not to say he is easy to read in Greek!) In Colossians we read: I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ. St. Paul does NOT mean that something was lacking in the afflictions of Christ. The dangling clause means that Paul’s suffering is lacking until filled by the afflictions of Christ. We think of suffering is something to be avoided unless it leads to something greater. A mother suffers childbirth, an athlete suffers training, a soldier suffers boot camp. The Apostle wants us to understand that uniting our suffering Christ’s makes sense of it.