by Sister Madonna Swintkoske
In the reading from the Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, St. Paul says, “... a thorn in the flesh was given to me ...” We do not know what the thorn was. It could have been spiritual, emotional or physical. Whatever it was it didn’t cause Paul to lose his faith. If anything, it deepened his faith. It caused Paul to be more dependent on Christ. He trusted that God’s grace would be sufficient for him. Paul realized that he must be bold and courageous in his witness. He must accept, as Jesus pointed out in the Gospel, that a prophet is not always accepted in his native place. Some people may accept the message and some will reject it.
As we listen to St. Paul today, we realize that to be disciple of Christ we need to be courageous, faithful, willing to endure what comes our way. It helps with the words of today’s psalm to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord. We need to be believers who know of our need for God, and believers who are always growing in our faith and prayer life.
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Dear Sister, Thanks for your wonderful reflection this morning ... It helps us appreciate how truly Blest we are..
A wonderful weekend full of Blessings for you and yours. -- Fr. Bill Jacobs
"A thorn in the flesh ..." Irritating, hurtful, bothersome, painful, constant, jabbing ache ... I can only take so much ... I just want it to stop - to get rid of it ... pull it out ... make it all go away.
Then I watch the morning news ... The boys in Thailand trapped in a cave ... Their families watching, knowing their sons and brothers are in need of urgent help, urgent rescue. As a parent, I could not bear to watch if the rains come ... My thorn seems so little now.
July 3, Independence Day eve: I watch the movie, "Suffergette," based on true events in Britain at a time when women were realizing how important, how necessary, how right it was for them to stand up to the embedded sexism, domination, and abuse of women; to march and rally and risk their lives, their jobs for the right to vote.
The 4th of July takes on new meaning for me, as I realize how much women have suffered, and how great has been their sacrifice for the sake of their own true freedom, for their honor and dignity, and for the honor and dignity of their daughters and sons.
My thorn seems so little now. -- Linda