St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, SJ
Rom 8: 31B-39
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,
‘For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Christ’s presence in the midst of obstacles
Paul comforts us in the face of suffering: Christ’s suffering in his supreme act of love on the Cross has negated the power of every obstacle to God. We cannot be separated from his love, even if we suffer, fail, or do not see it. St. Augustine echoes this in Confessions: “You were with me, but I was not with You.”
Sometimes, obstacles cause us to stumble and forget God’s presence, whether from ourselves (internal obstacles) or from circumstances beyond our control (external obstacles). Even in the face of these difficulties, God’s love remains with us and gives us strength. “Neither death, nor life…nor things present, nor things to come, … nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What obstacles are you facing today? Can you find Christ closer to you today in those struggles?
Jesus, you are my true friend, my only friend. You take a part in all my misfortunes; You take them on yourself; You know how to change them into blessings.
—Excerpt from “True Friend” by St. Claude La Colombière, SJ