Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7

Some religious scholars posit that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was that his eyesight was deteriorating. It is unknown if it was partial blindness but what we do know is that the situation was a disability and therefore undesirable to St. Paul. Joni Eareckson Tada, was once asked, “Would you like to be healed?” I thought she would have a quick answer, because I thought everyone asked her that. But it was as though she had never even thought about it! Finally, she said, “Yes, but,” she continued, “the most precious time of my day is when they put me to bed, and I am alone with the Lord. I am so afraid that if I didn’t have this paralysis, I wouldn’t have that intimacy.”

Whatever our thorns may be, and regardless of whether we have asked for it to be removed (as we surely have), I urge all of us to realize that sometimes the thorn is still there after much prayers, because God still allows it to be there for His glory. The reward for being patient and not complain is worth the wait. This is what helps to ensure a great reward when we get to heaven. The greater the affliction we endure for the sake of the kingdom, the greater the reward.  William Penn says “No Cross, no Crown”. The greater the suffering, the greater the glory if we don’t give in to self-pity or complain. A Christian author puts it thus: “The thorn in the flesh gives us the possibility of a greater reward than we would have had. The greater the handicap, the greater the impairment, the greater the disability, the greater the reward if we don’t murmur. Here below you may have felt it was a deprivation. In heaven, you will say (if I dare use this word), “How lucky I was to have it.” I guarantee that this is the case.” Pope Francis advices us thus: “And here the first word that I wish to say to you: joy! Do not be men and women of sadness: a Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but of having encountered a Person – Jesus – in our midst.” Remember as well to keep your eyes on the prize – heaven – where “God will wipe way every tear…and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore.” (Rev. 21:4)

MASS: VIOLET Dan 13:1-9. 15-17. 19-30. 33-62or Dan 13:14c-62; Ps 23:1:1-3a. 3b-4. 5.6(R. 4abc); Accl.Ezk33 :1-11; Jn 8:1-11

Prayer Points:

  1. Thank You, Father, for the abundance of your grace that has seen me through till now.
  2. Thank You, Father, for it is by your mercy that I have not been consumed.
  3. Father, as a good soldier of Christ, grant unto me the grace to endure hardship.
  4. Father, strengthen my faith to overcome the wiles and temptations of Satan.
  5. Father, let nothing be able to separate me from the love of Christ, in Jesus’ name.
  6. Father, let every effort of Satan to get me discouraged and turn my back on You, be frustrated in the name of Jesus.

Exercise: Take the Prayer of Padre Pio, “Stay with Me Lord”.

Meditation: 2 Timothy 2:10

Be part 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