5th Week in Ordinary Time 2018

On the face of it some of last weekend’s readings may have seemed to be a bit negative and despondent.  Job (pronounced Jobe) was a man whose faith in God was tested to the very limit.

Job says, “….relentlessly I fret till twilight falls.” Job 7:4.  He lies on his bed and ponders his life and probably remembers the better days he’d enjoyed.

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 the Psalm (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 and He endured the difficulties of life and the circumstances He often faced.  We are reminded of this particularly in His Passion, especially as we move into the Holy Season of Lent next week when we will remember that 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 Gospel as Jesus would get up early and go to a solitary place to seek out His Father and pray.  We took can seek out our loving God and turn to Him in prayer.  He will never turn us away but will welcome us gladly and will help us.  He always listens to our prayers and give His answers, but not always in the way we expect!

This month we remember those who are unemployed, the sick and those who suffer depression.  Let us pray for all who suffer in body, mind or spirit and who are in any kind of need – emotional, physical, financial, and spiritual.

Loving Lord,thank You that You heal the broken-hearted and bind up all their wounds. Amen.   (Taken from Psalm 146)

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