This morning, as I was polishing my shoes to prepare for Mass, I wanted to talk to my shoes, and to force them to talk back to me. My shoes seemed to say to me, “Why are you doing this to me? It is very painful.” I kept on brushing and brushing them and my shoes also kept saying, “Aray, aray, aray.” Then I explained to my shoes, “I have to brush you so that you will be clean. If I do not brush you, you will look dirty and awful. It is by allowing yourselves to be brushed, to carry the pain of being brushed, that you can shine, that you can allow your luster to come out.”

The Lord speaks along the same line. He speaks about pain. He speaks about joy. It is also the same in the first reading. Paul faced the pro-consul of Corinth and was accused unjustly. But the fear, apprehension and anxiety of Paul before the civil court disappeared because the proconsul dismissed his case.

Name me one saint, dear brothers and sisters, who did not have to face pain in his life. Name me one person who discovered real happiness without having the courage to endure pain. Name me one person who gained success without having to undergo trials.

Brothers and sisters, pain is a reality in our lives. Sometimes, we feel the Lord doesn’t see us when we are in pain. But the Lord assures us that even if sometimes, we do not see Him, He sees us when we are carrying our pain. And the Lord who sees us carrying our pain courageously and faithfully is the same Lord who turns our pains into joy.

I close my sharing with a few lines from Francis Thompson. He said, “Nothing comes, nothing goes, that is not paid with a moan. We are born in another’s pain and we perish in our own.” Name me one happy, successful life that never faced pain. You will not be able to do that because the Lord’s promise is “Glory through pain is joy in pain.”

Acts 18:12-16
Jesus In My Heart

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