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I’d like to talk about Sunday’s second reading for a minute… The line that gets all the love all the time (and for good reason) is:

“I can do all things in him who strengthens me.”

Yes. (Yes!)

But I want to look closer at what comes next…

“Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.”

Even though Jesus Christ is our ultimate Comforter, our ultimate source of Hope, of Healing, of true Love… even though He is our #1, it is still (still) nice to have the support, kindness, and empathy of people who, in their generosity, share in our distress.

I haven’t been feeling well for the past two weeks. And it’s not just normal not feeling well — a few off-days; it’s been bad. And in that badness, in that darkness, I reached out for Him. My darkness always brings me closer to His light and way. But still (still), I can’t tell you how it feels to have the support and empathy of my family & friends.

It helps me endure.

I’ve heard, “I hate that you’re going through this right now!”

And, “I’m so sorry you’re feeling like that.”

And, “Even though you don’t want it, I’m seeing some beauty come out of this pain. I’m proud of you.”

God is my #1, but sometimes I don’t hear Him.

And in those times, sentiments like these shared from my family & friends, these are His words. These are signs of His comfort.

So #mymasstakeaway from yesterday’s readings is: to open our hearts to sharing in others’ distress. To be Christ for people who need it. To acknowledge someone in pain. Even if it’s to tell them you don’t know what to say… saying something makes a difference.

Or just showing up. Being willing to be there. Being available to sit with someone in their pain. These things are priceless and they make a difference. And I don’t know what I would do without the encouraging words I hear in times like this…