Affliction and Perfect Joy
St. Paul gives us what appears to be a paradox in the 2nd reading today. He praises the Thessalonians for accepting the Word “with affliction and joy in the Holy Spirit.” How can affliction and joy exist together? St. Francis of Assisi is a great model for solving this riddle. In his own unique way, St. Francis shows us how to radically live out the call of today’s Gospel to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. If we do that, we can have perfect joy no matter what affliction life throws at us.