An Irish Jesuit, reflecting on Paul's life, wrote this sentence: "Let us learn to see our weaknesses not as obstacles but as opportunities." This sentiment seems to be rather frequent in today's world. Perhaps we see the recognition of failures as one way of putting them aside because we can then move on. The problem that each of us has to confront in such circumstances is to take the time to reflect, as does Paul in the words of today's first reading that is taken from the second letter he composed for the Corinthians.
Paul's return and letter to the community in Corinth were necessitated because some other preachers were condemning Paul for some of his failures and weaknesses. So concerned that those whom he and his comrades had brought to the faith as they and the apostles were teaching might be undermined.
Paul openly admits or confesses that he as well as we ourselves must realize that we are simply earthern vessels God uses in this life. Despite the difficulties that existed between Paul and the Corinthians because he had not returned to preach and teach in their city as he had promised, there nevertheless continued to be genuine friendship and respect for Paul among the people in Corinth.
As we look at the life of this courageous professor of the faith and model of suffering for what one believes, we should see that because of Paul's weaknesses God was able to speak to the people through Paul. So for us: we should make every effort to use our weaknesses not a excuses but rather as instruments for our use in seeing opportunities to better ourselves and to teach others what we have learned.
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Happy Flag Day