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Sunday, 05/05/2024 at 1:00 PM

International Bereaved Mothers' Gathering

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Monday, 05/13/2024 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Conversion can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for growth

Jesus invites us to turn to Him for conversion and assures us that though the process may be painful initially, a richer life awaits us

“Ow! Something bit me!” During a vacation in Cancun a few months back, I ventured into the shallow waters of the designated swimming area to enjoy the waves. Suddenly, a sharp pain shot through my left foot. “Ah! There it is again! Something’s biting me!” Instinctively, I tried to shake off whatever had latched onto me, only to feel another bite with each movement. Eventually, I resorted to lying on my back, hoping the creature would release its grip as I lifted my leg out of the water. Meanwhile, my friend swam toward me, imagining I might have encountered a small shark!

Just as my friend reached me, I managed to raise my foot out of the water. We both spotted the culprit: A fishing hook embedded in the sand or beneath a rock had pierced my toe. Unaware of what it was, my attempts to kick had only driven the hook deeper. As I looked at my foot, held by my friend, I saw the base of the hook on one side of my toe and the point emerging on the other. Then came the inevitable suggestion from my friend: “We have to push it all the way through to remove it.”

For a brief moment, my rational mind faltered. I wanted to protest, to insist it would be fine if left alone. I wished it would somehow vanish or resolve itself. But deep down, I knew my friend was right. To heal, I had to endure a little more discomfort. Thankfully, my friend, albeit inexperienced in foot injuries, swiftly took action. I clenched a towel between my teeth as he, with snips and pliers in hand, extracted the hook. Though the procedure lasted mere minutes, it drew quite a crowd of curious onlookers and young lifeguards. A swift visit to a clinic later, and I was back on my feet that evening, relatively unscathed. Now my buddy and I share a story that gains humor and embellishment with each retelling.

In our spiritual journey, we often find ourselves ensnared by various obstacles, whether born of our own failings or the fallen nature of the world. Whether it’s pride, greed, lust, anger, anxiety or any other spiritual entanglement, we may sometimes wish for a miraculous resolution. Yet Jesus, our friend, invites us to turn to Him for conversion. He assures us that though the process may be painful initially, a richer life awaits us.

Fear of temporary discomfort often hinders us from fully embracing discipleship. But St. John reminds us that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). May we trust Jesus as a compassionate friend who seeks to liberate and heal us, rather than to judge or condemn.

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