Not A Fighter, but A Wounded Soldier

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Come and See 28

28th Sunday Ordinary Time C
2 Kings 5: 14-17
2 Timothy 2: 8-13
Luke 17: 11-19

The Readings of the 28th Sunday invites us to reflect upon suffering, trust, and thanksgiving.

The story of Naaman and that of ten lepers clearly show human sufferings. In addition, St. Paul also reveals his struggles in bearing witness to Christ. Needless to say, physical and spiritual sufferings are truly present in Christian life. The Lord himself endured his agony. “My soul is disturbed”(Jn 12:27). For what reason do we bear suffering? Why do we have to suffer? It is hard to define the reason why we suffer, but definitely, when we suffer, we feel closer to God. Suffering seems to stop us from running away from our Father and drawing us back to Him. In poverty and failure, it is easier to find our true self. Is it an answer for our sufferings?

The salvation history is the constant calling of going back, returning to God. This is a calling that God wants us to trust in his plan. True faith does not mean that we never experience doubt, failure, and darkness. But more profoundly, true faith leads us to go deeper where Jesus had experienced his agony: loneliness and anxiety. However, true faith also invites us to surrender to God’s plan. How hard it is to surrender, to give up, to let go of our intellect and our plan to God’s plan. In fact, Naaman and ten lepers surrendered, gave up, and let go of their own intellect, reason, and plans. They were healed because they believed in the One whom they surrendered to and trusted in.

The liturgy is a thanksgiving. Jesus gives thanks to the Father for his everlasting love for humanity. Jesus gives thanksgiving to the Father by his own life – the most precious sacrifice he can give to his Father. He paid his thanksgiving not by what He said, but by His own body. No matter how hard and incomprehensible His experiences, He was faithful to give thanks to the Father. Suffering and thanksgiving truly blend with one another. “Suffering is, we may say, the test of our thanksgiving…”[1] so that the depth of our joy may arise from our suffering.

My dear friends, people honor a soldier not because he is a fighter, but because he is a wounded soldier.

Lord, my Father, you know how I suffer, help me to give you thanks in faithfulness and perseverance.

[1] Days of the Lord, Vol 6, Year C. (Minnesota: The Liturgy Press), 262

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