To suffer is part of our humanity. I do not think anyone here is alien to human suffering. Suffering comes to different people in different forms: sickness, poverty, loneliness, persecution, malignment, and so many others. All of us have suffered, one way or the other. I challenge anyone here to tell me that he does not know what suffering means.
In the first reading Job, is the portrait of abject human suffering. His body totally bruised and deserted by his own friends, Job now cries out to God: “Lord, I cannot sleep anymore. Lord, I cannot rest anymore. Each time I lie in bed, I toss left and right because I am in trouble.” Even his own friends, the people he trusted, have started to question and taunt Job and tell him: “Until now, with all that you have suffered, you still believe in God.”
Job is the symbol of somebody who suffers. The story of Job teaches us something important. Job tells us that in the face of human suffering, we must not put the responsibility on God. Job suffered but he never blamed God for his sufferings because it was clear to him, as it should be clear to all of us, that suffering is not willed by God upon us. God is a God of peace. God does not will suffering upon us. God does not cause our sufferings. Our sufferings are caused by our foolishness and that of other people. It is caused by the abuse of human freedom.
All of us suffer. Some of our sufferings weigh too heavily on us that we cannot even share them with our closest friends. Job teaches us today that every suffering takes meaning only in God. God is not responsible for our pains and sufferings. God does not cause these to happen to us
In the Gospel, the theme is also suffering. Is there anyone here who has suffered more than Christ has suffered? To be deserted by His own friends. To be mocked, insulted tortured, left alone and crucified. No one has suffered more than Christ. And yet, from the suffering of Christ, we also learn another lesson. The paradox of human suffering is that sometimes we think we are the only individual suffering. When you have a headache, you can think that you are the only person in the world who has a headache. When you are suffering, you can be tempted to think that the world is so unfair to you. But God reminds us today that there are people who suffer more than we do.
Suffering should not make us more selfish. Suffering should not make us more impatient. Suffering should not prevent us from serving, loving, healing, and forgiving others. Because the greatest measure of love is to love even if we ourselves are suffering. God healed. Jesus Christ served when He Himself was suffering.
From the readings of today we can derive two lessons on how to suffer. Job suffered but he never blamed God. Christ suffered. He never used it as an opportunity to lose faith in God.
ALL GROWTH IS PAINFUL
Job 42:8/Mt 17:12
Jesus In My Heart