By Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S.

Over the past year,

since the pandemic started,

many of us can identify with Job

in today’s first reading.

Life has become a drudgery.

And many of us wonder

if we shall ever see happiness again.

Like Simon’s mother-in-law,

too many have laid sick with a fever,

and far too many have not recovered

or been able to wait on anyone.

Like those who came to Jesus

we’ve been longing for miraculous cures, too.

We’ve seen a few.

We’ve witnessed acts of generosity

and compassion,

or courage and creativity.

We’re amazed at how quickly vaccines have been developed,

but we wish it would all just go away.

In the midst of all this,

the Psalmist calls us to praise the Lord,

who heals the brokenhearted.

Some of us have been blessed during this pandemic,

some of us have already received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Some of us have been lucky enough to have family and friends around

to keep us company and offer us companionship and mutual support.

At the end of the book of Job,

Job discovers that God was with him through it all.

In our second reading today,

Paul writes to the Corinthians

that an obligation has been placed upon him,

and woe to him if he does not preach it.

An obligation was placed on Christ, too.

He could have stayed in Simon’s house

where people kept coming to him.

But when he went off to pray by himself

he came to recognize the obligation

the Father had imposed upon him.

He was not just to stay where he was safe and comfortable.

He was to preach even in those places

where he would not be so safe and comfortable.

As the end of this pandemic is in sight,

as the vaccine makes our world a more safe and comfortable place,

where are we being called?

What is God asking us to do?

First we need to look around us,

as Jesus did,

and recognize the needs our world faces,

and then we need to take some time,

alone in prayer,

to discover where God is calling us.

May we all take the time

and have the courage

to do what God is asking of us

at this time in our lives.

To view the full scripture reading, click here.

Fr. Dennis Chriszt

Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S., is the director of advanced formation for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He also directs Precious Blood Parish Mission.