REFLECTION by Dianne Bergant CSA
Today we see three snapshots from the photo album of life.
Suffering comes to everyone. It can take such a hold of us that the happiness of the past is swallowed up, the beauty of better days is forgotten, and the hope of a brighter future is imperilled. Life ceases to be an adventure and takes on the guise of drudgery. At such times suffering appears to be our permanent fate, and life seems too short for suffering to run its course. If we become identified with our distress, we will be tormented.
Jesus knew the harshness of life, because he was one of us. He saw it in the lives of those he loved, and he was touched by their torment. He came to release people from the demons that possess them, from the illness that undermined their lives. He came to bring the reign of God, the reign of peace and fulfilment. He came to heal the brokenhearted, to bind up their wounds.
Paul was a messenger of this gospel of salvation and fulfilment. He was so committed to his mission that he empathised with all those who heard his preaching – the slaves, the weak, the brokenhearted, all those who knew well the harshness of life. Now it is our turn. We are the disciples who must bring the good news to the brokenhearted, to those who are enslaved, to those who are weak. We are the ones who will then share in the blessings of this good news.