I had a classmate in the seminary who is now a parish priest in a rural town in Zambales. He tells me that he usually goes around the parish, visiting the farmers and those who work in the forest. One day, he says, he got into a conversation with a farmer he was visiting. He told the farmer about his observations about the weather. “You must have a good harvest this year because the weather has been very nice. You’ve had plenty of water,” he said. The farmer replied, “That is not necessarily so. You see, when the weather is too easy, what happens is that the roots of the crops become very shallow, and the harvest turns out poor. What we need to have a good harvest is cooperative weather—not so easy but not so difficult either. In fact, when the weather is uncooperative, that is the time we produce a rich harvest because the roots really sink more deeply into the soil.”

That is also the reality of life. When life becomes very easy, when the social or spiritual weather becomes too easy, we can take the important things for granted and our roots do not go deep. Trials in life can help ground us more deeply into the soil that is God.

In the Gospel, the paralyzed man has suffered this condition all his life. That paralyzed man had a problem of mobility; but he did not allow this problem to dampen his faith in God. Some people carry their problems and that is what the paralyzed man did. On the other hand, some people allow their problems to carry them, and they end up even more paralyzed.

Do not allow your problems to carry you. Carry your problems, lovingly and faithfully. Do not allow life’s problems to dampen your spirit. Do not allow the easy weather to make your roots shallow. In the end, every crisis, every paralysis, every sickness, can be a blessing, if this is carried with faith.

There are no problems impossible to bear if Jesus is with us.

We have nothing to fear because God is by our side. Let us pray to the Lord to increase our faith and see everything—problems and joys from God’s point of view.

Mt 9: 1-8
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