Scripture Reading: Roman 5:3-5
Dear friends, as children of God, the more we mature, we begin to experience carrying our cross, pains, persecutions and challenges in our lives (like Toyin’s periodic pain). As terrible as those pains were for Toyin, she should have accepted it in good fate and await it every month with due preparations. The sufferings and pains that a Christian goes through are also very necessary and important, as they witness to the fact that we are alive in God; following the path of Jesus and that we are spiritually healthy. Just as the periodic flow purifies Toyin’s organ, this suffering purifies, cleanses, renews, purges and puts a Christianity in check.
Ebuka is a type of the world, the devil, the deceiver. The devil offers to help you remove or relieve you of your pain/suffering saying that it is unnecessary to go through it. If you agree, you will lose your innocence and drop a gainful pain for a greater, irrevocable and non-profitable enduring pain. You will forfeit your dream, your inheritance, and your right to eternal bliss.
Brethren, be on your guard against the tricks of the devil. Learn to endure, there is a necessary pain that accompanies growth, which we must prepare to endure, if we must grow. Some stages of human development come with pain. The growth of our teeth comes with pain; the birth of a child comes
with the pain of labour. Being comfortable and taking the easy route doesn’t make you stronger.
Overcoming with endurance the pain of setbacks, struggles, mishaps and being down and out makes you stronger. And the more you overcome these obstacles, the stronger you become. “It is not the load that breaks you down, it is the way you carry it.”
Let us accept our cross, pains and challenges for they are integral parts of our discipleship. Let us not accept the offer of a worldly relief, or from religious magicians; let us know that one day we shall exchange our cross in time for a crown in eternity.
Acts 16:22-34; Ps 138:1ac-2a.2bcd-3.7c-8 (R.7c); Accl Jn 16:7.13; Gosp Jn 16: 5-11
Prayer Point:
1. Heavenly Father, having given me this better understanding about pain/suffering, I now ask this of you: the strength to endure. The strength to go on when I feel like I can’t take another step. The strength to trust when I am filled with doubt and fear. The strength to stand firm when everything in me is crying out to give in. The strength to bear my responsibilities cheerfully and well, not with bitterness or grumbling resignation. The strength to persevere in the faith to the end. The strength to rejoice, even as I mourn. The strength to seek Your face, to find my security in You. I ask this in, Jesus name. Amen.
Exercise: Visit the Blessed Sacrament and take the Stations of the Cross in “Amen: It is Done”. Plan to be part of the National Pentecost Camping taking place from the 18th to 20th at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Ganaja, Lokoja.
Meditation: 2 Cor. 12:9-10.