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“Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy” (John 16:20).

Michael the ten year old had a great desire to learn Judo even though he had lost his left arm in an accident. He soon started his training under a very famous master. His master taught him only one style even though he was in training for three months. Disheartened one day he gathered up the nerves to ask his master why he didn’t teach him anything else. His master’s response was, ‘I believe this step is enough for you.’ He trusted the master and continued to practice earnestly.

Soon there was a contest and Michael participated and won all the levels of the contest. On their way back, Michael asked his master, ‘How was I able to beat my opponents with only this step?’ The master replied, ‘you learnt the most difficult step of all, the only way your opponent could have won is by capturing your left arm.’

We are often tormented by the unexpected trials and tribulations that afflict us. We often lose hope and enter into a world of darkness. We may be lamenting like the Psalmist crying, “I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears” (Psalm 6:6). We must remember that during such times rather than blaming God for abandoning us, we must see these situations in our lives as an opportunity given by God to be part of Christ’s sufferings. Let us carry our cross and follow Jesus during this Lenten season.

When St Paul was desolate and in pain Jesus consoles him saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). May these same words of consolation be our hope in our sufferings.

Fr. Prince Chakkalayil CST

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