The Suffering Servent is a reality that is always attached to the very existence of human life. In everyone’s life one faces various types of pains and sufferings every day. But St. Alphonsa, the first woman saint of India, through her life proved that the sufferings we face in everyday life are powerful enough to lift us into heaven. As we commemorate her feast, she teaches us the way through which we can turn our sufferings as a tool for salvation.
Christian life is basically a call to take up the cross. Jesus says: “If any of you wants to become my follower, let him deny himself and take up his daily cross and follow me” (Mt 16: 24). So there will be the experiences of the cross in our daily life to make us worthy Christians. St. Alphonsa could realize the suffering and sorrows of her life as the means for God to shower his love abundantly into her life. When she felt that there wasn’t much suffering in her life, she complained to God asking “are you not happy with me now”.
When Bp James Kalassery asked St. Alphonsa that “what are you doing when you are deprived of proper sleep at night due to the pain of your deceases?”, She replied all that time I am spending to love my Jesus. It was the life and the example of the crucified Lord who took up our pains and sorrow on the cross that motivated her to say this.
When we face sorrows, pains and difficulties in our life, let us try to realize and experience the love of God that is being revealed through these experiences. As we celebrate the feast of St. Alphonsa, let us ask the grace of the Lord to turn our sufferings as a means to experience the love of God and thus to attain salvation.
Fr Prince Chakkalayil CST