The Jouney 110
Read: John 9:1-12
April 19 was Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), the day that the world sets aside, to honor more than six million Jews, who went through torture, suffering and death at the hands of Adolf Hitler, during World War II. This year in US, this week [April 15-22[, has been set apart as the nation's annual commemoration of the Holocaust. We need to remember the countless people who suffered only because they belonged to a particular race. Listen to story of the twins, Eva and Miriam. Both Eva and her sister Miriam were part of the medical experiments conducted on them by the infamous Nazi Dr. Joseph Mengele. One twin would be used as a scientific "control" while the other was experimented on. Though she nearly died from infection as a result of one of the experiments, Eva said she was determined that both she and Miriam would survive and see freedom once again. Over nine months, both the sisters clung to life with very little food, filthy living conditions and daily experiments. She suffered but the willingness to live was something that kept her going and finally she lived to see the fall of the Nazis. She later got married and had two children and opened the CANDLES Holocaust museum to honor the memories of victims. But over the years, Eva said she still carried the burden of anger over the terrible things she'd seen and experienced. One day she was asked to speak at a university and was asked to bring a Nazi doctor with her. She found out one Dr. Hans Munch, who had appeared in a documentary with Eva and Miriam a few years earlier. At that time, preparations were also being made for a 50th anniversary of the liberation of the camps. She asked Dr. Munch whether he would witness to the existence of the gas chambers and the horrors in the gas chambers, during the anniversary. Dr. Much agreed and later Eva wanted to thank him so that the world knew what they and the Jews went through. How do I thank him, Eva thought and finally she decided the best gift is to write to him a letter of forgiveness. Eva said all through these years she suffered, but now she wanted liberation. She came to realize that God has given her the power to forgive. . "I was finally free," Eva said. I believe there are lot of people who suffer who are still not free. But why?. This is because they ask the question as to why did they suffer?
This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in the life of sick and suffering” based on John 9. There is this perennial question that the disciples ask as to why sometimes people suffer and this is the question that even today people have asked this a countless times. We may not have a very specific answer as to the question “why”, but our Lord says we can convert our experiences of suffering, into experiences that reveals the glory of God. Most of the people who go through sickness and suffering ask the question “ Why” but I think we need to empower them to ask the question “How”. How can I use this experience as a Christian to bring glory to the Lord. Eva used her bitterness and her suffering to bring glory to God through the power of forgiveness that she exercised. To bring transformation in the life of sick and suffering let us speak for the suffering, and at the same time let us also empower them and us, to use every experiences of pain or suffering, as a channel bring glory to God and witness to His love, through the power and grace that God gives to us through the crucified Lord.
Not “Why” but “ How”