2021-02-075th Sunday in Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

The first reading is taken from the Book of Job which is in the Old Testament.

Job was a wealthy man who loses everything, all of his possessions and his livestock. His children are afflicted with a hideous skin disease. Three of his friends feel that God is punishing Job for the sins that he has committed. Job says that it cannot be since he has always loved God and he has led a moral life.

People were asking in Job`s time why good people suffer? I do not have an answer to that question, but I do know that evil and suffering are a part of life for all people. Much of the suffering that we experience in life is a result of our sins. We bring much of it on ourselves. Look at the suffering that takes place because of war. People are killed and maimed because of land mines, bullets and bombs. People lose their homes and children suffer because food supplies are diminished and water supplies are cut off and sometimes sewage and disease are rampant.

How about when people use inferior materials to construct buildings and homes. Sometimes these buildings topple during a storm and the inhabitants go homeless.

Many times our water and air are polluted because of our carelessness.

Certainly, there are other reasons for human suffering. Sometimes the sufferings are caused by natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

When God walked the earth Jesus was also uncomfortable with human suffering. Jesus cured people at every opportunity. Jesus gave us a glimpse of heaven.

The suffering of Jesus was a result of sin. Jesus who was an innocent person put himself in solidarity with our sufferings.

When I was a boy, we often talked about offering up our pain and suffering to God. We talked about taking up our cross and following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. We should talk in that way again. When I suffer and when you suffer you need to know that Jesus did not come into the world to take away our suffering. Rather, Jesus came in to the world to show us how to live with our suffering. Jesus came to show us how to be more compassionate and caring to other people. We will be rewarded for our efforts in heaven.

Perhaps, Job realized that there must be an afterlife where everything will be rectified. Jesus said that the last will be first and the first will be last. There will be no more suffering or pain in heaven. All who have stayed close to Jesus here on earth will be rewarded. They will be happy with Jesus and their loved ones forever.

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