For the Sake of Christ

Another change to the format.  We all know what day it is, so let’s try something different with the title for the day.  So today I want to concentrate on Sunday’s second reading from the 2nd letter of St. Paul to the church of Corinth.

Reading 22 COR 12:7-10

Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. 
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” 
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. 
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
How many of us pray to have our afflictions removed from our daily lives?  How many of us are hurting and praying to God to stop that hurt?  I know St. Paul did – he told us he did in his letter above.  I know St. Teresa did as she talked about that in the biography written entitled The Dark Night of the Soul.  I’ve only mentioned two here but I’m sure there are many more saints who offered that same prayer to God; I offer up the names of any number of people I know suffering in my daily rosary; I offer up my name in my daily rosary but now I am going to offer their names, my name in a different light.  I am going to pray that we – like St. Paul, like Mother Teresa, like (insert a saints name here) can accept that we too can be content with our weaknesses, that we too can bear the insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints.  Why? For the sake of Christ.  For the love of God.  That in all of those weaknesses we learn the trust in God for everything, we depend on God for everything, that we praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  That is how we are made strong – in God alone…In Christ alone.
I asked yesterday (and got a few responses) – what is your favorite part of the Mass.  I am going to ask that you still think about this today, tomorrow and even in the days that follow.  I will say an important part of the Mass (not the most important) is the music.  Good music can elevate a Mass when done properly and just the opposite can happen if the music isn’t appropriate to the readings.  My wife Sarah plans the music for our liturgies.  She has taken many classes through St. Louis’ Paul VI Institute and is what I would describe as deft in the music planned for each liturgy at STMM.  Take a minute to listen to what she chose for our Offertory hymn this past Sunday.
and one more song to contemplate today
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
It is through Christ’s power alone that I stand.  It is through my weakness’ that I, we, are drawn to Christ and the strength of God.  So again, in the word’s of St. Paul
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. 
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Do something great for our Lord today.  Accept your weakness’ and find His strength.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.

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