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Turning our weakness into strength

The secret is to assume the identity of Christ and his attitude toward all forms of human weakness and limitations. He himself assumed our human weaknesses even to the extent of making himself like sin without committing sin, if only to save us from our fatal predicament. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21)

If we would just open ourselves to the possibility of taking that leap of faith to become like Christ who gives us all the means to be so, what may appear to us as an impossibility due to our weakness and limitations can become possible.

We are reminded of this wonderful truth of our faith in that gospel episode where the Archangel Gabriel visited Zechariah to tell him that his aging and barren wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a baby that would turn out to be Christ’s precursor, John the Baptist. (Lk 1,5-25) Zechariah was doubtful at first that what the angel said could happen, but in the end he acceded.

We should make St. Paul’s words, “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Cor 12,10) also as our own, and feel reassured and consoled every time we are hounded and burdened by all sorts of difficulties and troubles, including when we are tempted and fall into sin.

We have to know what exactly St. Paul meant by those words. What we can readily see is that he made all these predicaments a reason for him to go to Christ, to identify himself more closely with Christ who went all the way to making himself like sin without committing sin just to save us. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21)

We have to learn how to react to all these negative and evil elements in our life from the point of view of our Christian faith, and never just from our own estimation of things that would often lead us to be scandalized, to feel bad and discouraged, and to run away from the one who can resolve everything for us, including those problems we cannot anymore resolve.

Our faith in God can still work and function even if we are down spiritually and morally, because it is, first of all, a gift from God who will always give it to us irrespective of how we have been behaving. We should just try our best to receive it and to correspond to it as best that we can.

We will always have difficulties in life. They are unavoidable. They come with the limitations of our human nature and aggravated by its condition of woundedness. Usually they come as small disappointments and frustrations, little failures and setbacks we meet everyday. All of them, more or less, manageable.

But they can also be big ones that can plunge us into deep, long-running crises of fear, anger, anxiety, hatred and despair. Cases of unsolvable predicaments, at least, humanly speaking.

We have to be ready for them and know not only how to deal with them but also how to derive something good from them. In these instances of the hard predicaments, for example, when we seem to be at a loss as to what to do, we should just see at what God does, after we have done all things possible to solve our problems.

We need to trust in God’s providence and mercy. We have to learn to live a spirit of abandonment in the hands of God. Yes, if we have faith in God, in his wisdom and mercy, in his unfailing love for us, we know that everything will always work out for the good. (cfr. Rom 8,28)*

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January 2023
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