Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you hadn’t been born? That is how Job felt in our first reading today. He was wallowing in pain and sorrow and wished he were dead. Job was a good man and, despite his suffering, he remained faithful to God. However he lived in Old Testament times. He didn’t know Jesus and had no knowledge of baptism. As a result, Job could see no meaning to his misery.
We who are baptized into the body of Christ Jesus have a strong motive for enduring suffering when it comes our way. We know that we do not suffer alone. In some way, because of our union with Christ, it is he who suffers in and through us. And Christ does not suffer in vain. Therefore, our suffering has eternal value. Calvary continues in us. How incomprehensible are God’s ways and how unsearchable are his judgments that he would involve you and me in the saving work of his Son!
The story of Job had a happy conclusion. Eventually his suffering ended and he prospered for the rest of his life. I suspect Job came to the same realization that the apostle Paul did. In his letter to the Romans, Paul taught, "We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love him."(Rom 8:28) After Calvary came Easter. From death comes life.
May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.