7 March, Tuesday — Serving first, disabilities second

Tuesday of 2nd Week of Lent

Isa 1:10,16-20
Mt 23:1-12

The greatest among you must be your servant.

I was in a snow ski resort with my family in Japan for a family holiday recently. I am unable to walk, so I move around in a wheelchair. But it was very difficult for my wheelchair to move around in snow, because the wheels had no spikes and therefore were not suitable for winter conditions.

My family did not want me to miss out on the fun, so they helped to carry me and my wheelchair through the snowy grounds and also helped me to ski.

Although it was a fun time experiencing snow for the first time in my life, I actually felt bad. Because my dad’s foot was injured, yet he still helped me move around in the ski resort. It also led me to wonder how I can serve others despite my physical disabilities.

People with disabilities tend to be perceived by society as liabilities. Yes, we may be physically or mentally incapable of doing certain things, depending on our disabilities. But we can still serve others in ways that we are capable of, in employment, relationship with others, and even in our spiritual life.

Everyone needs prayers and I believe that everyone can pray, even those among us who are disabled. There have been many disabled saints in history, including Saint Germaine Cousin, who was born in Toulouse in 1579. Her right hand was withered and paralyzed at birth. She was treated harshly by her stepmother and made to live in horrible homelife conditions — by sleeping in the stables and taking care of the sheep. However, she prayed constantly to God, by praying the rosary every day and attending Mass. Her love of God spilled into her love for her neighbours, and she would often teach local children about our beautiful Catholic faith. She died at the age of 22, and her body is found to be incorrupt.

So during this Lent, let us offer penance and prayers for one another, and offer up our weaknesses and disabilities for God’s glory.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, teach us to serve others despite our weaknesses and disabilities. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for giving us saints to inspire us to serve others despite our frail human condition, and for giving us Your grace to serve others. Amen.


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