6th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
In the Book of Job, the main character, Job, says “….relentlessly I fret till twilight falls.” He lies on his bed and ponders his life and probably remembers the better days he’d enjoyed. Job (pronounced Jobe) was a man whose faith in God was tested to the very limit.
He wasn’t always in this situation. Far from it. Job was a wealthy man who was happily married, had lots of children, enjoyed the finer things of life and was blessed with good health, livestock, land and property – that is until all of this was systematically taken away from him and he was tested over many years. He was stripped down to the basics and only his faith in God remained.
There are times in our lives when our faith is tested to the very limit because of the many hurtful and destructive things we encounter. Faith can be an anchor of strength but it can also be lost if painful circumstances overwhelm and crush the vulnerable spirit inside.
The good news is that God is close to the broken hearted as we read in Psalm 146. Faith can be rediscovered again and allowed to grow if the hurt person chooses to seek God with all their heart. They are never turned away for our loving Lord does not snap us in two if we are a broken reed or snuff us out if our flame is a smouldering ember.
Essentially, at the heart of the gospel message is the person of Jesus. We strive to follow a person, not a set of rules and our Lord knows how we feel all too well. During the whole of His life, Jesus suffered much which hurt Him, broke His heart as He endured the difficulties of life and the circumstances He often had to face. We are reminded of this particularly in His Passion, when Jesus was tortured, abused, rejected and finally crucified.
God is close to all of us all of the time but especially when we are broken hearted and wounded inside. One of the ways in which we can stay close to God and strengthen our faith during these times is mentioned in the Gospels as Jesus would get up early and go to a solitary place to seek out His Father and pray.
Loving Lord, thank You for Your deep care, strong love and tender touch when we are broken hearted. Bind up our wounds and heal us, so that joyful and whole again, we may go and support those who are suffering and are in need of love, care and support. Amen.