St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time B21

Job was having a rough time of it. He has lost everything: possessions, sons and daughters, property, and even his health. His friends were no comfort with their explanation that it was caused by sin and therefore this was entirely his fault.

Listen to his words again: “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery? … I have been assigned months of misery and troubled nights have been allotted to me. … I shall not see happiness again.”[1]

That’s a pretty good example of a “pity party”.

We have been assigned almost 12 months of misery. We worry about job and food security. We worry about our health and that of family and friends. A lot of us have experienced the death of people we loved or knew. We have grown sick and tired of face masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing, zoom meetings, remote learning, and, occasionally, each other. We ask ourselves and others when we see happiness again. We grow anxious waiting for a vaccine. When will it be our turn, we ask? Why it the process of trying to get an appointment if we are eligible so complicated? All of these are valid feelings.

Who will comfort or rescue us? Jesus! You probably would expect that answer from me. After all I am a priest of Jesus Christ. But like many of you, my faith, hope and patience have been challenged at times during these months of misery. But look to Jesus. He suffered not only death but disappointment, betrayal, abandonment, the crushing of his dreams, misunderstanding, and rejection of all he was and did. In Jesus, God has shared our pain and suffering.

In one of the stairwells of Holy Family Retreat House, there is a plaque on which is written a quote from Paul Claudel: “Jesus did not come to explain away suffering or remove it. He came to fill it with his presence.” That quote restores and renews my faith, hope and patience.


[1] Job 7:1, 3, 7b

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