Well we certainly got our taste of winter last Sunday. About 5:30 AM Donna texted me and asked if we were going to have Mass or not. I said I’d drive over and see how things were. Afterall, I have an SUV. Meanwhile, getting stuck in my driveway answered the question. This last week also marked the anniversary of the first case of the Corona virus in our area. The thought of more snow and a longer time before the pandemic is under control is rather disheartening. Then each of us has their own personal difficulties to deal with. Perhaps an illness, a financial shortage, job issues, or personal relationship problems lead us to being down and emotionally stressed.
Our first reading from the Book of Job gives us a perfect example of dealing with pain and suffering. His life was in ruin. He lost all his herds and flocks to robbers. A natural storm killed his 10 children. His own health failed him as he has sores over his whole body. His wife told him to curse God, and his friends told him it’s because of your great sins. Is it any wonder in the closing sentence of our first reading Job says, “I shall never see happiness again.”
In our Gospel there were suffering people, too. They came gathered at the door where Jesus was. He cured many who were sick and drove out many demons. They faced human suffering with hope and healing. Both of these are as real in our world today as they were in the first century. Sickness is here, but so are nurses and doctors. Disasters are here, but so are paramedics, firefighters, and rescue teams. Sin is here, but so is grace. Others see the helpers and join their effort. Job, in the end, did not lose his faith but trusted in God. Jesus suffered himself, but never lost faith in God. If we choose God and prayers, it does not mean we will escape suffering. We will escape despair and hopelessness. We will have the strength to deal with all that life throws our way. Even a snow storm.
Love, Peace, Joy,