At Corinth one night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced: I am with you. I have so many people on my side in this city that no one will even attempt to hurt you.’ So Paul stayed there preaching the word of God among them for eighteen months.
But, while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews made a concerted attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal. ‘We accuse this man’ they said ‘of persuading people to worship God in a way that breaks the Law.’ Before Paul could open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, ‘Listen, you Jews. If this were a misdemeanour or a crime, I would not hesitate to attend to you; but if it is only quibbles about words and names, and about your own Law, then you must deal with it yourselves-I have no intention of making legal decisions about things like that.’ Then he sent them out of the court, and at once they all turned on Sosthenes, the synagogue president, and beat him in front of the court house. Gallio refused to take any notice at all.
After staying on for some time, Paul took leave of the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had his hair cut off, because of a vow he had made.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
you will be weeping and wailing
while the world will rejoice;
you will be sorrowful,
but your sorrow will turn to joy.
A woman in childbirth suffers,
because her time has come;
but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering
in her joy that a man has been born into the world.
So it is with you: you are sad now,
but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy,
and that joy no one shall take from you.
When that day comes,
you will not ask me any questions.’
On that day you will not question me about anything
What a profound statement of Jesus. Naturally, we have many questions to ask in our lives because we can’t see the reasons behind all the happenings, and therefore, tend to jump to a conclusion in our personal judgements.
Due to my hearing impairment, I could die many times as I had encountered many close shaves. Yet I am still alive and kicking today. Likewise, Saint Paul remained unharmed when he went into the house of wolves and continued preaching as he got intervention from the good judge, Gallio. Everything is within God’s control no matter what happens and how we perceive things.
I don’t remember questioning God nor asking myself why I was born deaf and have been deaf all my life. Yet God manifested to me the purpose and reasons when time came. I received this insight from God — He made me deaf so that I could reach out to the deaf people whom others cannot reach as God loves them as much as He loves us. No one is exempt from His great love. Yes, I wanted to be able to hear in the past. But now, I am thankful and grateful for my deafness because I see it as the gift of my Cross and am glad to take it up and follow the Lord Jesus wholeheartedly. I think I will be contended if I were to be deaf all my life. To this day, I never question why I am deaf. What I am saying is that we ought to remove our bias and let ourselves be open so that we can see more clearly.
“Ever since Adam and Eve, man had been hiding from God and saying, ‘God is so hard to find.’” – Venerable Fulton Sheen
(Today’s OXYGEN by Michael Goo)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, remove all our bias and purify our consciences so that we will not judge quickly. Help us to see more clearly all the reasons You give us here on the earth so that we will stand blameless on that Last Day. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gifts of our crosses so that we can follow Lord Jesus with them. Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, the world without end. Amen