Today’s reading: 2 Cor 12
Today Paul reveals us something important.
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Notice what Jesus tells Paul. His power is MADE PERFECT in Paul’s weakness. When God says his power is “made perfect” in us, it cannot be that his power was not perfect before it came to us and we somehow are adding to or perfecting God’s power. Thus, we see that God’s power is perfecting us.
This is one of the most profound revelations of the gospel. Our God is not a god solely of power and might (though He has those attributes), rather he is a humble God. Jesus did not accomplish salvation by command, with armies of angels and great displays of power and glory. Instead, Jesus allowed himself to be humiliated, to be beaten and wounded. He accomplished salvation through wounds, weakness, and vulnerability. After the resurrection, his weakness and vulnerability are gone as He takes his place in power and glory at the right hand of the father. But his wounds? His wounds remain.
Since Jesus’ wounds remain after he is resurrected and glorified it follows that wounds are not something to be ashamed of but rather something, as Paul says, to boast of. Christ is not ashamed of his wounds and He is not ashamed of our wounds. Therefore, as adopted brothers and sisters in Christ, we don’t have to be ashamed of our wounds. Christ comes to us because of our wounds (physical or emotional). Christ knows our wounds and loves us, not in spite of them, but in part because of them.
Many great saints realized this, among them Saint Therese’, Saint Maria Faustina and Saint Mother Theresa. We must become small and humble in God’s presence. Out wounds help us to do that. If we acknowledge our wounds we stop seeing ourselves as superior to the person next to us and that helps us treat them with love, compassion, and respect. Your wounds are allowed not as a burden but as a gift that invites you to be more like the Lord.
Tomorrow: 2 Cor 13