Daily Reflection
September 15th, 2001
John Lynch, S.J.
Chaplain, St. Joseph's Hospital
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Hebrews 5:7-9, or 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Psalms 31:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 15-16, 20
John 19:25-27, or Luke 2:33-35

Why do good people suffer?

As a hospital chaplain, I see many good people who do suffer.  Recently, I walked into a patient's room and immediately he said: "Father, please anoint me!  My heart is very weak.  I am having blackouts and I want to join my family.  They have all gone before me."  He went on to tell how he had spent his life in the circus.  He felt deeply grateful that he was able to bring joy and entertainment to many children and families.  Now he was ready to let the Lord take him.

We know from the letter to the Hebrews that even Jesus learned obedience through suffering.  Mary, too, free from sin, would deepen her knowledge of self and God through suffering.  As good as she was, she still could grow in perfection.

I think suffering opens us to the reality of who we are.  We are creatures dependent upon God and none of us have the control we at times think we have.  The Lord wants us to surrender our very lives into his hands.  We admire the patient wanting the Lord to take him.  We identify with the sorrowful mother.

Whose heart would not be moved to contemplate Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the foot of his cross?

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.

Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook