Affliction Can Open Our Hearts to God

In our readings today, we have something that doesn’t happen every day: there is a clear theme running through all three readings and the Psalm. Each reading, in its own way, shows how God is close to the physically and spiritually afflicted.

Too often in the midst of our physical and spiritual afflictions, we may feel anything but close to God. We might feel like God is punishing us. Despite numerous Scripture passages to the contrary (e.g. the entire book of Job), people may even tell us we are afflicted because our faith is not strong enough.

In fact, God chooses the poor and afflicted precisely because they are poor and afflicted. They know they cannot rely on their own strength, and they need God to heal them and lift them up. Those who live comfortable lives may start to think they “earned” their status through their own merits and see no need to turn to God and let Him work in their lives.

On a personal note, as I await the birth of my second child any day now, I have been reflecting a lot on my painful journey with primary, then secondary infertility. Looking back, I can see how God was close to me in that affliction, using that time of waiting and disappointment to help me grow as a mother and a person. Through this journey, God made my children not just blessings, but miracles, and He gave me a heart to never take that for granted.

So my prayer today is that those poor and afflicted in any way in this world will open their hearts and allow God to heal them, turning the desert of their life into a spring of life-giving water.

Contact the author

J.M. Pallas has had a lifelong love of Scriptures. When she is not busy with her vocation as a wife and mother to her “1 Samuel 1” son, or her vocation as a public health educator, you may find her at her parish women’s bible study, affectionately known as “The Bible Chicks.”

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