John 9:25-27 – "One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." They said to him, "What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?" He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?"
Countless stories could be told of those who triumphed over sickness, suffering and sorrow, and went on to be there for others in need:
- the cancer survivor at the beside of one troubled by what tomorrow may bring;
the alcoholic sharing the story of new life and sobriety;
the drug addict with the message that addiction can be beaten;
the man who has turned over a new leaf and has begun a new life free from violence;
the prisoner who goes to the schools to tell teens to stay clean and stay in school;
the amputee who runs across Canada and captivates a nation;
the entire roster of the para-olympic teams with the message: "We can do all things, no matter what happens to us in this life."
And every one of them has a story to tell because of what happens to them in life and, as it happens, they are transformed, renewed and given purpose. And it can happen to you, as it happened to Paul and to all who make the story of their life connect with the gospel story and find faith and receive new life and go on to make a difference. Bad things are not going to stop happening in a human world where disease and death and accident and calamity can, and will happen, in the blink of an eye.
Prayer: Lord, give us your grace that can transform weakness, pain, and suffering, and bring forth strength, beauty and maturity of faith. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.