Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
Many people go through so much pain and suffering that, like Job, they cry out, "Why was I born?" Like Job they’ve had enough. They are longing for death and for the peace they foresee will come after death. They have no hope of things getting better.
Job didn’t know that things would get better for him, but eventually they did. Job repented of all his complaining, "and the Lord restored the fortunes of Job." (Job 42:10)
Compare Job to our Sorrowful Mother. She underwent excruciating pain on Calvary, watching her son suffer and die. The Thirteenth Station, the Pieta, reminds us of her great suffering. Yet, unlike Job, Mary knew something. Mary knew what St. Paul was to later proclaim, that "in everything God works for good with those who love him…" (Romans 8:28). So Mary waited, and hoped, and hoped. And Easter came! "In everything God works for good…"
In our extremely tumultuous times, when it seems things can’t get much worse, we need a vision of hope. This hope was well stated by Mahatma Gandhi who said, "When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always."
This same hope was also expressed by J.R.R. Tolkein when he said, "All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success – in vain: preparing always the soil for unexpected good to sprout in."
At times we may tempted to throw up our hands and say, "Enough. Take me, Lord." At that moment the Lord may reply, "It was for this that you were born. I need you to be a beacon of hope for my people. Let my light shine through you. My power will prevail."
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/