Nobody in this world is perfect. Everyone has weaknesses and defects. That is why, we complement with others. Whatever strengths we have will help those who are weak at. Other than weaknesses, there are also times when we feel down and anxious, tested, and challenged such that we feel pushed to the limit. An inspiring friend or family member will help us see beyond our problems and anxieties. A person who acts as a “sounding board” is vital to our sanity and stability.
The classic story of Job in the First Reading (Jb. 7: 1-4, 6-7) tells us of his frustrations and feelings, considering what has happened to his family, possessions and even his dignity. Yet, despite all these he remained steadfast in his faith in Yahweh God.
Last December before my mother-in-law passed away, I was telling Alma that we have to exert effort to make sure she won’t give up her faith as her pain brought about by the big C increased in intensity. What I fear the most is when the soul gives up on God at the last minute. During the last moments of life, the devil is on the prowl and ready to pounce on our sickness, our troubles, and anxieties so that we may start questioning and even risk of giving up our faith in God. Thus, in her last days, Alma and I would pray with her every night before she sleeps. I think that even when our own time comes for us to go and leave this world, we should resist the temptation to give up on God for what we’re going through. If due to the feelings of insurmountable pain one gives up on faith and hope at the last minute, it would be the most unfortunate event that happens to one’s soul. Heaven can be within reach and yet eternal punishment can also result due to one’s loss of faith. That is why we have to persevere until the end. Note what Job did in Chapter 2 verse 10, as his wife asked him to “Curse God and die!”,
But he said to her, “You speak as foolish women do. We accept good things from God; should we not accept evil?” Through all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
In the Gospel (Mk. 1: 29-29), Jesus was healing Simon’s mother-in-law from fever, other people from various illnesses, and driving out demons. He didn’t allow the demons to speak because “they knew him.” It wasn’t only there that the Lord preached, as He also ensured that they “go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”
As it was before, so it is today: Jesus Christ brings hope amidst tragedy, despair, and misery; challenges that we all face at one time or the other. During these times of the pandemic, the difficulties are real. People are losing jobs, the company of friends and family loved ones, or even losing loved ones due to Covid-19. The story of Job inspires us to hold on to Yahweh, as he was one who persevered and believed that God ought to be thanked for everything, problems and all included.
As St. Paul said in the Second Reading,
“All this I do for the sake of the Gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.” (1 Cor. 9:16-19, 22-23)
Let us reflect on the life of Job today. Let his life inspire us to love life and be grateful to God for all that we experience, good or bad. Let his life fill our own with hope, faith and love so that we persevere and hopefully with God’s awesome grace, mercy and compassion, triumph in the end.
“Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.” (Ps. 147:3a)