Yesterday, I had a rare opportunity to hear mass alone. And the experience was too deep and personal.
I arrived at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Karangalan a little bit early for the 6PM mass. I stayed outside the church until after Communion. When the commentator was already reading the announcements, I went in and stayed at the back while looking for a good place to sit. Before the priest gave the final blessing, the commentator took some time to thank the people for praying for her. She shared that she has been hospitalized for the past 5 months due to a rare disease (so rare that it affects only 1 in every 100,000 people). She was in the ICU during the first three weeks of her confinement. And she thought she would never recover. But one day, while she was lying on her hospital bed, she had an encounter with the Lord. There she felt healing. And she shared a beautiful message from the Father:
"Endure your suffering without complain. It is part of your purification. If you are in pain, don't focus on your pain, but on the reward. And I, the Lord your God, am your greatest reward. Just live with love and for love knowing that you are My beloved."
I believe the message is not just for that sister, but for all of us. We are all going through something, whether we like it, admit it, or not. And when things get too difficult for us, or when we think we've already had enough, we just have to be reminded of one thing: WE ARE GOD'S BELOVED and He will never leave us empty-handed, alone, and hopeless. He was, He is, and will always be with us and for us. :)
|Photo Credit: Jessie Gunderson|