Suffering & Gratitude
In the first reading and the gospel today we hear stories of healing. Jesus performed many miracles and healings. However, Jesus did not heal everyone. As Paul Claudel stated: “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” Often our experience of suffering or of someone else’s suffering causes us to turn in prayer to God. God always, always hears our prayers. But God does not always remove our sufferings. He will not always perform a miracle like those we here at today’s Mass. But we can be assured God is with us. Jesus, God’s own Son, did not escape suffering. However, “he was made perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10). May we learn to say with Jesus, “thy will be done” or “into your hands I commend my spirit.” Only with great trust and faith in God’s love for us can we commend sufferings into His hands.
The Gospel miracle of the 10 lepers concludes by stating that only one returned to give thanks to God. While we suffer, have difficulties and sometimes feel God has abandoned us, we are never alone. The footprints in the sand are God’s, and sometimes He carries us without us realizing it. As we come to this Eucharistic feast, a celebration of thanks (Eucharist is a Greek word for thanksgiving), we are grateful for those times we’ve been carried, lifted and renewed by God. Peace.