Content with weaknesses?

A Resurrectionist Vocation Minute for July 7, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Content with weaknesses? 

Today’s second reading is for many people one of the most memorable passages in all of Paul’s letters, because it touches on two very real experiences we all have: the experience of a problem or problems we just can’t seem to shake, and the experience of God not answering our prayers the way we wanted.

…a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.

Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.

But there is a third experience in today’s second reading – Paul’s not so common response to these two very common experiences that we encounter:

So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

It’s important to realize that Paul is not talking about just any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities – but only “for the sake of Christ”, that is, those that result from his following of Jesus. 

Following Jesus no matter what your vocation may be, is going to result at some point in the experience of weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  As Paul experienced God’s power being revealed through these things in his life, he learned to be content with them.  What are you willing to embrace as part of your vocation?  Do you believe God can reveal His power through them in your life?

“The vows are a visible sign to the people of God. They point to the possibility of living according to the counsels of Jesus. They are a prophetic witness of the primacy of God and higher values: the supernatural and the eternal as contrasted with the natural and temporal. Our faithfulness in living the vows will serve as an inspiration to all, encouraging them to live their own Christian vocation more fully.”

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