Monday, November 16, 2015

Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring.

By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen. - taken from the Chaplet of St. Michael
Gospel Text: (Lk 18:35-43)
As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
The blind man in today’s Gospel reading did more than mutter under his breath. He shouted! He ignored all the voices that said, “Stop making a fuss! Just accept your lot in life. Just bear your cross.” He probably even ignored the thoughts in his mind that told him he wasn’t worth healing, he deserved to be blind, or he wasn’t important enough for Jesus to notice. He drowned them out, stubbornly pounding on the door of God’s heart. And he was not disappointed.

Know this: God always wants to heal and restore. He wants to touch us at our sorest points, our most vulnerable, limiting position, and relieve the pain. This is why Jesus exhorts us to ask, seek, and knock. He never says, “Sorry, that’s just too hard for me” or “You really have no business asking me to do that for you.” He never turns his back on anyone who comes to him.

So what do you do when you’ve asked and pleaded for years, but your prayers never seem to be answered? You keep asking! You keep crying out to the Lord. You keep believing that God is good and that he has only good intentions for you. You confess that he who made light shine out of darkness will also shine through your life—both in healing and in patient endurance. Because God really is healing us, all the time.

Even as we endure a long-term illness or an emotional wound, our lives are being shaped. The question is “How will we be shaped?” By clinging to the Lord in faith, we can grow in compassion. We can become vessels of his love and presence. But if we give up, we risk becoming bitter and resigned. If we draw from the well of God’s grace and presence, we will find courage, good humor, and consolation. But if we withdraw, we risk becoming preoccupied by our challenges, blind and deaf to the needs and joys of the people around us.

So always keep before you the image of the blind man who, when healed, was full of praise for the Lord. Because God is with you at every step, you can be sure that he is a good, good God!

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