Sunday, July 4th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
Happy Independence Day! Even though this Sunday falls on the 4th of July, our readings from the 14th Sunday in Ordinary time remind us that, even in our weakest and toughest moments, God has a plan.
Our Second Reading is from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians where the Apostle describes a “thorn” that had been given to him. He believed this thorn to be the thing that kept him grounded as he said, “to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.” We do not know if the so-called “thorn” was metaphorical or literal.
At first, he asked the Lord to remove this thorn which was his cross, but the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Through this explanation, Saint Paul resolved to believe, “I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
We all have crosses that come in various forms to bear in this life, whether they seem to be little thorns or sharp daggers. The easiest thing to do, as Saint Paul did, is to pray for the cross to be taken. It would be great if all our struggles just magically faded away! But listen to the Lord’s words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
Stop and reflect on your cross. Instead of wishing it would go away, look at it as an opportunity to grow and to allow God to work in your life. God permitted this cross in your life for a reason. Do not let the opportunity pass you by for Christ to work on your heart.
Today, recall that God loves us more than we could ever imagine. There is not a moment that goes by that He does not have us in mind. He has a specific plan for our lives. We are invited to just let go and let God! Therefore, in life we may encounter trials and challenges, but with the grace of Jesus Christ, we can handle them with confidence.
Happy Independence Day to you and your family. Enjoy this holiday weekend spent with family and friends who celebrate with family gatherings, barbeques, and fireworks. Having been shut down and isolated for more than a year, many people are eager to gather in groups. Please be sensible and safe this weekend