Friday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time August 11, 2023

Fr. Rick’s Two Minute Homily for

, 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 sufferingwith 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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