Friends, on this Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, our second reading is from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. The focus of the reading is “a thorn in the flesh” that was given to Paul “to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.” What was it? We don’t know, but whatever it was, it wasn’t trivial. We all have something like this—some physical, psychological, or spiritual suffering that’s chronic and deeply troubling. Yet this struggle with the thorn in the flesh is very often what brings us back to God.

Mass Readings