Scripture Reading: 2 Cor. 12:8-9

The subject of the reflection remains “THE CROSS WAS GOD’S WILL. The Bible shows that Paul, the great apostle, also prayed three times concerning one of his personal needs. The time span for his prayers is unknown. But what is known is the answer. Paul said: “I asked the Lord three times that this thing [a thorn in the flesh] might depart from me. But He said to me, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:8-9)
Paul’s persistence was steeped in faith. He had a bold trust in God’s willingness to answer him. At the end of Paul’s third request God spoke. The answer may not have been what Paul wanted to hear, but it brought him to a place of peace. God’s answer was so medicinal that it did not matter if the thorn was removed or not. Paul was changed. The Lord showed him that when he’s weak, Christ is strong within him. Paul’s victory was his becoming more dependent on God in the face of adversity. He did not let God’s initial silence deter him from praying.
We must learn similar lessons. Dr. David D. Ireland would say, “The silence of God can be God’s way of saying: “Pursue Me! Draw closer to Me! Don’t back away! Get fired up about building a deeper relationship with Me!” The silence of God is not meant to provoke you to anger or make you conclude that your needs are unimportant to God. His silence is a time for renewing your passion for a deeper communion with Him.”
Our Lord indeed asks us in the Gospel to take up our cross and follow Him. Jesus wants us to share our worries and troubled times with Him in prayer, to offer them up to Him for the good of our souls. Thus, our faith teaches us not to consider our sufferings to be meaningless. If we ask for our Lord’s help to get us through troubled times, He can indeed strengthen us, make us more compassionate towards others, and focus us on what’s really important – His will for us, His love for us, and how we reflect that love and in how we treat each other. Let us during this period of Lent look up to the Garden of Gethsemane, where our Lord gave us a moving example, how we can offer up our anxieties to God while trusting in His will. Knowing fully well, and dreading, all the pain He was about to endure within a matter of hours He said “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39)

MASS: VIOLET Ezk 37:12-14; Ps 130:1-2.3-4.5-7a.7b-8(R.7b); Rom 8:8-11; Accl. Jn 11:25a.26; Jn 11:1-45

Prayer Points:
1. Praise God by singing “Amazing Grace How sweet thou art…”
2. Lord Jesus I ask for mercy for the many times I have allow suffering and hardship to cause me to be derided and I vow by Your grace that nothing shall separate me from You. In Jesus name.
3. Take the prayer of St. Ignatius De Loyola and St Padre Pio (three times today), Section A
4. Pray for the success of the International Retreat for all Distributors, Partners and Users of Daily Strength Devotional on Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th April 2017 holding at the Jubilee Retreat and Conference Centre, Effurun, Warri, Delta State

Exercise: Please visit the Lord today in the Blessed Sacrament.

Meditation: Col. 1:24