Friday, June 17, 2011
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
So ends the first reading today. But how many of us are really willing to follow the example of St. Paul. Instead, we attempt to declare our weakness a medical condition. We feel the need to give every child a prize so that they never know what it feels like to lose. We call our senior groups things like "young at heart" to avoid the reality of aging. And I'm sure each of us can find many other example of how we flee from our own weakness and human frailty.
St. Paul follows Jesus in teaching us that it is only when we can face our weakness head on, name it, and embrace it, that Christ can begin to truly heal. It. Sometimes that healing means taking it away, and some times it does not.
I have Cerebral Palsy. I am disabled. I am handicapped. I have never felt the need to call myself "differently abled." But which of us does not have some handicap in this life. The CP just happens to have been visible from day one. Some could argue that makes it easier. Was I ever angry at God? Did I ever cry "Why me?" Did I ever wish it would go away? Sure.
In the end we learn that Paul is right. The path to happiness lies in embracing our weaknesses, visible and invisibles, and commending them to God so that they may be transformed into sources to strength, as Christ transformed the Cross into a sign of life and hope.