Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 8, 2018
Today’s second reading is perhaps some of the most personal testimony in all of the Christian Scriptures. St. Paul tells us how he had a “thorn in the flesh,” something—and we don’t know exactly what this was—which reminded Paul constantly of his need for God. Was it a physical ailment, an emotional difficulty, some sin or failing? Whatever it was, Paul didn’t like it! He prayed that it might leave him.
God’s answer to that prayer? Simply that God’s grace would be enough to see Paul through. Paul learned from this personal experience how to accept this weakness, how to allow it to be a moment where the power of God would instead take over.
I don’t know about you, but I find this reading very comforting. I’m no saint, that’s for sure. But if a real saint like Paul can “boast of his weakness,” and can openly admit to it, and to how he begged God to take it away, then I find in Paul’s story a way to deal with my own sinfulness, my own weakness.
I like the way Paul’s experience gave him a way to look at all the things that happened to him–“weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints,” he says. So maybe there’s hope for the rest of us as well, to discover a similar insight, with God’s help.