Has life ever felt like drudgery?

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion for February 8, 2015

Clergy Corner by Fr. David A. Runnion for February 8, 2015, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 147:1-6; 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23; Mark 1:29-39

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Has life ever felt like drudgery?

It did for Job when he was sorely afflicted, even though he had lived a righteous life; and he lost hope (see Job 7:1-7).

In Crossing the Threshhold of Hope, Pope St. John Paul II reminded us that we are a people of hope and that our hope is in the Lord!

The Catechism explains that we maintain this faith and hope by "fix[ing] in our minds that nothing is impossible with God. Once our reason has grasped the idea of God's almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [God] will afterwards propose for us to believe – even if they be great and marvelous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature" (CCC 274).

Ultimately, Job never received a satisfying answer about his afflictions, but he did encounter the Lord directly, and that was sufficient.

Jesus gave new meaning to suffering, making it salvific when united with His Passion. Thus, our hope and trust in the Lord helps us through present trials, but is also grounded in the expectation of joining Christ in Heaven, where there will be no more pain or suffering (cf. Rev 21:1).

Saint Paul understood this and was able to embrace weakness and suffering for Christ's sake (e.g., 1 Cor 9:22). He knew that perseverance in the race is the key, despite the slings and arrows along the way (see 1 Cor 9:24; 2 Tim 4:6-8). Bearing our share of hardships is part of our Christian calling (see 2 Tim 1:8; 2:3). Yet, we must always turn to Christ for His Divine Assistance.

One reason Jesus healed all who came to Him was to confirm that He is the Divine Physician, the Lord of Life, Who desires to help everyone who comes to Him (cf. Mk 1:29-39). And, Jesus showed the importance of a personal prayer life that unites us closely to the Lord Himself (e.g., Mk 1:35). Thus, we should bring all our needs before Him in prayer (see Mt 7:7-8).

The Lord Jesus is, most of all, the Healer of souls. The greatest healing comes from conversion from sin and the ensuing union with God and life of grace and holiness.

May we stay close to Christ, especially in times of dryness and affliction, and renew our trust and our hope in His power and plan to save us and set us free.

Tags: homilies, clergy corner, reflection
 

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