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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
>>I have always wondered as I listen to today’s second reading from Paul to the Corinthians: what was that thorn in his flesh? We can speculate. It might have been a physical aliment, or maybe a spiritual one, or some sort of temptation, or a failing, or a sin. However, we’re not sure. And while we wonder what Paul might have been going through one point comes out loud and clear. Just because we have chosen to follow Jesus; trying to live faithfully, carrying out God’s will as best we can, it does not mean that our problems go away.
Life still goes on and unfolds in ways that we cannot totally understand. Problems still arise. Illness still occurs. Relationships still face difficulties. Sin rears its ugly head. Faith does not eliminate those things, but rather ensures that those things don’t ultimately win over our minds and hearts.
And that’s why the gospel of prosperity so often preached by TV evangelists is really not true. Because a pain-free life is no more proof of God’s favor than suffering or impoverishment as proof of lack of it.
We all have some sort of thorn in the flesh, so to speak. We have shared the thorn of the covid-19 pandemic for over a year. Many have some sort of chronic illness or care for a loved one who is sick. For some, a job may have crashed. A relationship has failed. Maybe we’re in the midst of a crisis of faith with doubt and uncertainty that God really cares about us.
And so, Paul reminds us in today’s second reading what we can do with all these things that often make us feel low and as if we have failed. He reminds us not to fall into the trap of relying only on ourselves, but rather on Christ.
As believers, we are to let the power of Christ work in us and through our weakness make us strong with a power that comes from other than ourselves. And that’s what Paul did as we listen to his story today. When we do that, we become then as Paul – models of faith in our living out our dependence on God.
A strength that we give witness to as others see this power in us. And so today, what Paul heard in prayer let us hear in our prayer. Hear Christ assure us, my grace is sufficient for us. My grace is sufficient. When we are weak may we be strong with the power of Christ.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
You can now enjoy Sunday Mass at Mercy Home’s homily in podcast form: