God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

The Mystery Of Suffering

The Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in Israel. Mount Tabor is traditionally identified as the Mount of Transfiguration. Via Wikipedia

The Franciscan Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in Israel. Mount Tabor is traditionally identified as the Mount of Transfiguration. Via Wikipedia

Through the years I came to know an American Franciscan Religious, Brother Francis, assigned to work in the Holy Sepulcher Church in the Old City of Jerusalem.  Oftentimes he helped me vest for Mass on Mt Calvary and in the Tomb of Christ, both of which are under the roof of Holy Sepulcher Church, the most revered shrine in the Holy Land.

One clear day years ago while visiting Mt. Tabor, the Mount of the Transfiguration of Christ in Galilee, I suddenly came face to face with Brother Francis.  Surprised to see him in this high place, 2000 feet above the plains below and 70 miles away from his usual assignment in Jerusalem, I asked him why he had come to Mt. Tabor.

His story told of a defenseless man being attacked by robbers in Holy Sepulcher Church.  The vandals flung Brother Francis down a long flight of stairs, breaking many of his bones and causing painful injuries.  Here on Mt. Tabor he was beginning a long period of recuperation from this vicious experience with his usual spirit of cheerfulness and good will.

How natural it would be for one to complain to Christ, “Lord, why didn’t You take better care of me in your holiest shrine in Jerusalem?”  Brother Francis had not entered religious life to escape suffering.  In no way did he need perfect protection from hardship to believe in the Lord’s love for him.

At that time, as I walked about on this sacred place, I thought of the glorious vision of the Transfigured Christ that the Apostles Peter, James and John had enjoyed in this mountain retreat.  For a few moments these bewildered disciples had tasted the ecstasy of Heaven to prepare them for dark days of persecution ahead.

In the course of life hardships, injuries, painful accidents, heartbreaking disappointments come to the people of God.  These happen despite long years of loving service and faithfulness to Christ.  Taking these misfortunes in stride with no bitterness in their hearts, these hurting people go on with their cheerful attendance at Church in worship and prayer, the spirit of Brother Francis mentioned above.

                        Fr. George Mc Kenna

October 19, 2013 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,


  1. Simply beautiful, Fr. George! It is easy to be happy with God when things are going great – but when there are challenges and hardships in life, then we wonder where God is or why He is allowing suffering. That is when we need to really increase our prayers and feel that God is with us. Thank you for your wonderful and wise words every week. What a BLESSING you are to me! I love you!,

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | October 19, 2013 | Reply

  2. I love this one Uncle George

    Comment by Mike | October 20, 2013 | Reply

  3. I was out of town this weekend but make it a practice to read you weekly. Your insights are so inspiring and make me feel close to home and Holy Family. Though I missed Dad while I was gone, I felt connected through your blog. Please don’t stop writing. We need you!

    Comment by Donna Kurcz | November 5, 2013 | Reply

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