It is a privilege of priests to help people who are spiritually troubled. So many people have problems. In my own limited experience of eight years now, I have come to know that there are two types of people with problems. Those in the first type say, “I have no more hope. I cannot change anymore.” They are cynical about their own capacity to change. The other class of people with problems are those who insist there is still hope that they can carry on. They say, “Just help me, Father, and I’ll be able to handle it.”
It is easier to help the second type of person with problems. It is a lot easier to help someone who says, “Just help me. I think I can do it.”
Each type of persons with problems affect me in different ways. When I offer help and the person with the problem says, “I don’t think I have hope, I don’t think there’s any chance for me to change,” after we talk, I feel drained.
On the other hand, take those people who say, “If you try to help me, I’ll do my best to do my part.” With them, even if deep down I may wonder whether their problem will be solved, their courage makes me feel nourished and encouraged at the end.
To the second type of persons with problem belong the crippled man of Lystra in the first reading. He was a cripple for so many years, and yet, when he was offered help, he jumped and grabbed it. As you can see, as soon as Paul saw the goodwill of the crippled man, he himself was encouraged to go all the way in helping him. Now the question to ask is, what kind of problem carrier are you?
Jesus in My Heart