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