The Word of God

Racked With Pain


Reflection on Mass Reading for January 7, 2019

“His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them.” Of the many aspects of the mission of Jesus to the human race as chronicled in the Scriptures, we can most certainly all agree that He came to relieve pain and cure those who are broken. This should be of remarkable comfort and relief especially for those among us who are carrying huge burdens. The world was waiting for such a Savior with such a realm of healing and resolution that when Jesus finally came, many were still so absorbed by their own pain that they could not or perhaps would not recognize Him: “…the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.”

As we proceed with somewhat great haste through this new year, it makes perfect sense to remember two levels and realms of pain: the pain we carry and that of others around us. Suffering can make us feel isolated and exiled from the human race and it can also numb us to the crosses that others are bearing all around us. Thus, the presence of suffering in our lives can propel or repel us from the light of Christ. We must make the fundamental option to love Jesus first above all and then move forward with the Spirit that He so generously gave us: “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit whom he gave us.”

I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. Anne Frank

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