Feb. 7, 2021
“So I have been assigned months of misery.”
Sounds like a familiar refrain of how we lived most of 2020 and into 2021. Yet these are words of Job from the first reading today, not a description of the world today.
Job had lost everything – family, home, possessions. And so we hear his frustration in the first reading today as his “friends” are questioning whether or not God really loved him. They are telling him he must have been really bad for God to have punished him so severely. But Job will have none of it.
In today’s reading, Job is expressing his frustration with his situation, but not with God. As we know, Job remains faithful to God, and in the end, God pays him back double. Job knew that despite his frustration it was beyond his human ability to understand God. Despite his lack of understanding, he had strong faith.
That’s an important lesson for us to remember. We may be frustrated with our situation from time to time, perhaps now more than ever. But even with that frustration, we need to have faith that God is still in control. We need to have faith like Job.
In today’s Gospel, we see faith in action. Many people are brought to Jesus who were ill or possessed by demons and Jesus cured them all. Not just a few, but all who were brought to Him were healed. How do we do in our lives in meeting the needs of others around us? Are there days when we decide we are too busy or too tired or just don’t want to help others? I wonder if Jesus ever felt like that. At times I know I do.
How did Jesus manage to be there to meet the needs of all who came to Him? Prayer!
We see in the Gospel that Jesus kept His focus by taking time to pray – to stay close to His
Father. Despite the demands on His time, Jesus knew the importance of taking time to pray. We need to focus on that lesson. When we feel we can’t (or don’t want) to be there for others, that is the time to pray. St. Paul understood that.
In the second reading today, he acknowledges that his service of the Gospel, of Jesus, is his call. He is not looking for any special reward for doing what he was called to do. He knows that his service is a reward in itself. It takes great humility to recognize that.
What does that mean for us? We get three key takeaways from today’s readings – we need to stay humble, we need to pray, especially when we feel unsure of what to do next, and we need to always, always have faith that God is in control.