Saturday, February 3, 2018

02-04-18 -- 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Job’s life unfolds in a way he doesn’t expect. We hear him lamenting.

I have troubled nights. I am filled with restlessness. My life is drudgery. Is this all there is? What has happened to me? What have I become? Why has my life turned out this way?

At some point, Job comes to the realization that all his whining and complaining does no good. He begins to understand that the question “why” has no answer.

Once he is no longer fixated on why his life has ended up as it has, he can begin to change. He can begin to see a new future. He accepts what is and begins to move toward what can be.

We ask plenty of “why” questions in our own lives. Why did this happen to me? Why did God do this to me? Why did you do this to me? Why did I do that? Why did I let this happen? 

Sometimes we get so caught up in our self-pity that we resign ourselves to what is.

Are we supposed to just resign ourselves to our struggles? Are we supposed to just accept our disappointments? 

Are we supposed to turn a blind eye when we see injustice in our world?

Are we supposed to just give in to our grief? Are we supposed to be resigned to the chronic pain we feel? Are we supposed to just live with our brokenness?

I don’t think so. And I think wallowing in our own self-pity is not very helpful.

Like Job, we eventually come to the realization that there are no answers to our “why” questions. And that if we just resign ourselves to what is, we could possibly end up living a pretty pitiful existence.

We are called to accept what is and work toward a different future. Jesus takes us by the hand, like he took Peter’s mother-in-law. Jesus grasped her hand and healed her.

Jesus is reaching out to you and to me. Jesus wants us to take his hand so that he can lift us up and heal us.

Our lives may be unfolding in a way we didn’t expect, but with Jesus by our side, we can take comfort that he can see us through anything.

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