We’ve been blessed these last few weeks to see inklings of sunlight—sometimes overwhelming in their brightness—during a season that is often overcast, dark and frigid. Usually, as in our first reading, we can hear Job’s lament with consonant ears: “Is not our life on earth a drudgery? …assigned months of misery and troubled nights?” We too, often wonder, don’t we, if we’ll ever see happiness again?
- Consider those who are suffering terrible illness;
- or those who are even now painfully enduring the agonizing death of their husband or wife of so many years, so many joys, so many loves;
- what about those who are in such painful agony that they reach out to so many different addictions in order to ease their pain or longing….
It is enough to think of certain unforgettable pages of the rest of the Book of Job, which present our human, ongoing frailty. In fact, we are like those who “dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is the dust, who are crushed more easily than the moth. Between morning and evening they are destroyed; they perish for ever without anyone regarding it”. Again, Job continues to confess: “My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no happiness. They shoot by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on its prey”.
The sense of human limitation is intense in these passages. Our existence has the frailty of the grass that springs up at dawn; yet suddenly it hears the whistle of the sickle that reduces it to a heap of hay. The freshness of life all too soon, gives way to the dry emptiness of death.
Yes, so many of us rightly wonder if we’ll ever see happiness again.
Ah, but then we hear Jesus respond, “Let us go on to the nearby villages.” After spending a whole day of hours upon hours curing the sick, He does not stop, but rather reaches out to each of us and to others—all others—so that He becomes the antidote to our drudgery, our restlessness, our “months of misery”. Yes, when the nights drag on and we are filled with restlessness, only one thing makes us want to get out of bed in the morning: Jesus Christ!
For, in Christ, our gracious God rebuilds Jerusalem one broken heart at a time. To the weak, He became weak, to win over the weak, says St. Paul in our second reading. And we, too, sharing in weakness, desire that Christ speak words of comfort, of compassion, of holy closeness and intimate love with each one of us.
And he does. He reaches out to grasp our hand, to restore us again and give us life, to help us up…that we might begin anew…afresh with His own Spirit, awash in His own Light.
Yes, we’ve been blessed indeed to see light in these dark days and months and years. And through it all, Christ is that light that rebuilds us, clings to us, gives us hope and encourages us on the journey toward His Kingdom.
May He bless us again throughout this week ahead.