Late last Thursday night, I stumbled into an acquaintance. All alone, he appeared very pained. I asked how he was doing. After some hesitation, he started to cry and choked out the words, “I’ve never felt so alone in my life.” His suffering and sadness were palpable. I embraced him and reminded him that he was deeply, richly, profoundly loved. This encounter lasted less than a minute and we parted ways. The next morning, he thanked me and said what a difference those simple words made, how they somehow eased part of his burden.

Christ desires to break into the story of our suffering and definitively transform it into a story of love, to bring comfort to our pain and His Presence to our loneliness. This unfolds when one responds to the invitation to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” by being open and attentive to the Scriptures—inside and outside of Mass—and by reflecting on the meaning they bear for our lives. Through those practices, the Word of God came to life last Thursday, dwelt with us, spoke love to us. It left our faith enriched, our hope emboldened, and our love fuller of life.

—John Michael Hogue graduated from Creighton Prep in 2014 and is currently a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.