for Sunday, February 8, 2009
When disasters, personal or communal, occur in our world, it's likely that religious people will be asked: What does God have to do with it?
In the first reading, we hear from that Biblical expert on suffering-Job. It's a short description of Job's, and humankind's miserable condition. If we read more of the Book of Job, we discover that it doesn't try to resolve the question of human suffering either. Rather it ends by bringing us face-to-face with the very mystery of God. With Job, we're invited to turn ourselves over to God and to trust in God's infinite wisdom and care.
The Gospel personalizes that invitation. Mark depicts Jesus embarked on a journey that again and again brings him face-to-face with evil: manifested in the sin and suffering, sickness and death Jesus encounters in the world. Each time, he proves himself master over evil, the one who brings God's forgiveness, the healer of human suffering. Eventually, he conquers death itself on the Cross.
What does God have to do with human suffering? The best answer I know is God's answer, Jesus himself - the only answer we need.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: