Scripture Reading: John 16:33
Afflictions which may sometimes be called suffering is seen from different views, perspectives and understanding. For instance, some people claim that afflictions are consequences of the evils one committed in the past. These people believe that anybody in affliction is paying the price for his wickedness, and therefore, should be left to pay the full price. Others see affliction as evil, spear-headed by the devil, and as such, should be loathed and abhorred. For them, there is nothing good about being afflicted. Again, we have those who say that afflictions are good because they learn from them. When people in this category have afflictions, they neither loath them nor blame God, the devil or anyone, but look deep into themselves and their situation and try to pin-point what caused the affliction. Knowing the cause, they take caution to avoid whatever may bring back the affliction. No wonder St. Ambrose said, “The devil tempts that he may ruin; God tempts that He may crown.”
Having seen the different views of different people about affliction, we have to first of all note that afflictions must always be there. It does not matter whether we like it or not or whether we believe it is good or not. The fact remains that in life, there are afflictions. Everybody has one affliction or the other. It begins from the day we were born into this world. Even at childhood, we can testify that we have not always had what we demanded, and so, we are burdened and afflicted. Such is part and parcel of life. It is inevitable and inescapable.
It is good for us to understand that we are still in the world, in the flesh form of life, where sufferings and pains attack life from time to time. Even our identity with Christianity or God Himself, does not exonerate us from the common situations of human life. Spirituality or no spirituality, every one of us sometimes go through some pains in diverse ways. The child who requests money to buy biscuits, but gets nothing from his parents feels afflicted. Others may be afflicted by joblessness, barrenness, failure in examination or elections, disappointments, and so on. Whatever be your affliction, Jesus has a message for you. First, He wants you to understand that “you will have affliction in the world”, because, it is an inseparable feature of life on earth. So, when it happens to you, do not be too quick to lose hope, curse God or ask: “why should I, a bondservant of God be afflicted?” Simply thank God, in the words of Jesus, He says: “Cheer up for I have conquered the world.” The afflictions we face must come, but know that they are temporary. It is never forever. All we need is to continue hoping and depending on God while we on our own part continue to do our best. God will never fail us. No affliction is greater than Him. All afflictions have been conquered by Him. Just be patient with Him. He is a faithful God. In no distant time, you will see Him in action. God bless you.
MASS: WHITE Acts 16:1-10; Ps 100:1-2.3.5 (R.1); Accl. Col 3:1; Jn 15: 18-21 ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA, P (Opt Men)
1. Thank You Father for Your word in my life today.
2. Grant me Lord, I pray, the fortitude to bear afflictions and manage them in godly ways.
3. Do not let these afflictions overwhelm my life, but as you have overcome the world, so shall I overcome them all. Amen.
4. Take the prayers, “Realizing the blessings of God” (Section 3 of the Book, AMEN IT’S DONE).
Exercise: Today, try to employ the smile/laughter therapy when you face some disappointing moments.
Meditation: 2 Timothy 4:5
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