I’m sure every one of us knows someone who says, “I don’t go to church on Sunday, because I don’t get anything out of it.” Today might be different, because the reading from Job in the Old Testament attempts the best answer I know to the burning question that every one of us has in life: “Why am I suffering?” Maybe your heart is aching because of a tragic loss or grief. If I said, “You must have done something pretty bad for God to punish you with all this suffering!”—would you agree? Hopefully not! But at the time of Job, the only explanation for suffering was “punishment for sin.”
So often we put God in the witness stand exactly as Job did: “Where are you, God? I’ve prayed until I’m blue in the face…I’ve played by all your rules. And still you don’t answer. Where ARE you?” And God gives us and Job the same answer: “Where are YOU, when I laid the earth’s foundations?…Can you guide the morning star?…Does the eagle soar at your command?” Humbled at last, Job replies: “I am the man who obscured your designs with my empty-headed words.”
But to complete God’s answer to Job, we have to notice how Jesus enters into the suffering of people in the Scripture. Jesus feels pain, just as we do! Notice how he is constantly touching people before healing them—to show us that God does not stand helplessly at a distance, detached, watching without emotion as we suffer.
Jesus is filled with God’s love and concern for our lives. But you have to throw out the old idea of “an eye for an eye.” Our God lifts up the fallen, feeds the hungry with good things, and heals the brokenhearted.
“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like” (St. Augustine of Hippo). “What does Love look like?” is the theme of the 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal in all the parishes of the Diocese of Trenton the weekend of February 17-18. St. Rose of Lima Parish has always been generous in supporting the Annual Catholic Appeal to further the many programs ministries of our Diocese, and in turn, benefit our parishes. I hope and pray that when you receive the Appeal Letter from our Bishop, you will make a pledge in ANY amount to help us reach our goal and, as we have done for the past several years, gone over goal! Thank you and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish