Job is one of the best known characters in the Old Testament. Here we see Job acknowledging his pain and misery and he expresses without embarrassment. Job complains of the tedium and futility of life and the miseries of human existence as he faces stunning calamities and wonders why such evil has befallen him. But eventually he surrenders himself to the wisdom of God. This is a reminder to us of how we have to accept that human suffering is a misery and even the noblest cannot demand an explanation from God.
When our pain becomes so great we discover that we can turn to God and to our fellow human beings. The Gospel teaches us that true discipleship means getting involved in giving selfless service to others. Jesus spent most of his time ministering to the needs of others, giving healing forgiveness and new beginning to many. God gives us that challenge to go courageously beyond people’s expectations by doing good as Jesus did, instead of brooding over pain and suffering in the world that we cannot end. We learn valuable lessons from Job, Paul and Jesus encouraging us to extend our help and give healing and hope to others. We will experience lonely nights and desperate days, moments of drudgery and depression, times of helplessness and hopelessness. Let us never forget that our loving and merciful God continues to heal the broken-hearted and to bind up own wounds.
We will continue to encounter people who are sick and suffering and going through a lot of pain and sorrow. And while they may be beyond physical cure, they are never beyond care!
Rev. Fr. Reynaldo A. Domagas
*Reflections on the readings for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, published in the Sunday Bulletin of Our Lady of Victory Church, Manhattan, NYC, February 5, 2012