Homily – February 4, 2018

We all know the story of Job – a man who was so blessed by God. He was wealthy beyond imagining, he owned thousands of sheep and goats. He had vineyards and plentiful crops. Job and his wife were blessed with beautiful daughters and hard workings sons. God said of Job,’ There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.’ But Satan had other ideas about Job. He’s good because God is good to him but let him know hard times and see how upright and faithful he his. To prove Job would be faithful and true in any circumstance in his life God brought Job low – his sons and daughters died, his crops failed, his cattle and sheep died – Job was totally reduced, he was covered with open sores, his friends avoided him. They tried to convince Job he was being punished by God. Job believed God was testing him and he would not speak against God.

How often have felt like Job felt? Life can seem so unfair. Maybe you feel life is nothing but hard service, you get no positive feedback for all you hard work. You have your sleepless nights as you worry about job security, unpaid bills. You may be facing health issues and the possibility of having to give up your independence and go a retirement home.

You can understand Job’s discouragement, his depression. If there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s probably a train heading right for you. Each one of us at this Mass is struggling with one or another issue, be it a health or financial issue, or an inter-personal problem, or a personal struggle. None of us is worry free. And hopefully none of us is alone, though some may be.

In today’s short gospel we hear of Jesus, at the end of a long day is besieged by people burdened by with various diseases and demons. At dawn Jesus slipped away for some peace and quiet and prayer. The apostles found him and wanted him to get back to work, maybe not so much preaching but certainly healing the wounds of the people. But Jesus insisted he had to move on to other towns and villages preaching the good news of God’s special love for the downtrodden and healing the sick.

This is the same Jesus who is with us at the Mass, the same Jesus who is one with us as we receive his body at communion time. Like the men and women and probably children who crowded around the house of Peter at Capernaum bringing Jesus their wounds and worries, in faith, trust, we bring Jesus our wounds and our worries trusting he will give us the grace and strength to face and cope with our issues never doubting the love and the care he has for each one of us.