Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for Friday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time

August 11, 2023, Matthew 17:24-28

The sacrament of the sick is a powerful encounter with Jesus in areas we
suffer the greatest. Surgery carries its complications and difficulties. It can
disrupt our lives, such as losing work and the ability to do the simplest
things for ourselves.  
Over time it can cause a lot of frustration, anger, and even a bout of
depression. One of the worst pains is the loneliness that sometimes no one
close can relate to.  
Strangely, Jesus tells us to pick up our cross of pain and suffering and
follow him. He knows it is the only weapon that gives us back our innermost
self – our best self.
I remember a good friend, a Catholic psychiatrist telling me years ago after
surgery, “Embrace the pain, don’t fight it, embrace it.” At first, it sounded
ridiculous – “Embrace it?”  
When I did, I was so helpless that I cried out to Jesus from a depth I didn’t
know was there, “Help me, Lord Jesus. “I can’t bear this suffering
anymore.” I felt Jesus yoking himself to me and noticed how something
inside of me changed.  
The pain from the surgery was still there, but the worry, anxiety, and how I
was beating myself up with angry thoughts were long gone. I realized later,
through the grace of God, I was embracing myself and loving myself
through the pain.  
Gospel Challenge:  
Letting go of ourselves can be the most freeing experience of our lives.
Throw your arms around yourself and embrace that pain and suffering with
all your might. Don’t fear to be helpless. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Jesus, I trust myself to you. 
Peace everyone. 

Fr. Rick Pilger, IC


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