This Sunday, the readings invite us to examine human suffering more deeply. It is only through Christ that our pain and despair can and will be transformed. Like the suffering people in today’s Gospel, we all long for Christ. It is through prayer that our yearning will be fulfilled.
In the first reading, Job expresses total despair at the great losses he has experienced; he seems overwhelmed by life’s frailty. The suffering in our world today perhaps makes it easy to relate to his sentiments.
The Psalm, however, is like an antidote to Job’s howls of loss. It speaks of healing for broken hearts and minds, of wounds being bound and tended by our loving God, whose wisdom extends across a universe that he knows and loves intimately. In the second reading, Paul writes of how his own experience of Christ and the Gospel impels him to share the Good News with others. He feels like a slave to the Gospel and is happy to accept this role.
Today’s Gospel portrays the early days of Jesus’s healing ministry in Galilee. After praying with the community in the synagogue, Jesus responds with compassion to all the sick and suffering people who are brought to him. He begins his days in prayerful solitude and is drawn by a desire to bring his Good News to as many people as possible.
This week, let us pray for wisdom and compassion to respond to the suffering and needs of our time, especially in our broken and hurting world.
Joy and peace.