First Sunday of Lent

Homily Video

First Sunday of Lent Homily Transcript

Our reading from Job this morning, If you’re not familiar with this book in the old testament, 

Job is going through his life. He’s actually pretty well off. He’s prosperous.  He has a great family and a lot of herds, land, and he’s faithful to God. Satan comes along and he’s arguing with God. 

It’s kind of like a fable, the book of Job. 

Satan’s telling God, “look, Job is only faithful to you. He’s only worshipping you because everything is going well in his life.” I bet if things went south for him and he started suffering, 

Job is not going to be faithful to you anymore. God says, “all right, we’ll test Job and see what he goes through.” They take everything away from Job. 

He goes through intense suffering. He loses his family. He loses his home, all of his cattle. Physically, he goes through several diseases. So, he’s suffering. He’s in this intense darkness. 

This is what we’re reading in our first reading. 

He’s kind of cursing the day he was born, saying, “my life is meaningless now and i wish it was over, faster than a weaver’s shuttle.” So, Job, even though he’s upset and he’s hurting, he doesn’t abandon God. He never rejects God.  He never says, “i hate you, God. I’m walking away from the faith.” 

Again, he enters into his pain, and he lifts that up to the lord. Now, this is a really important model for us because every one of us goes through pain and suffering. We all have our dark moments and we all give that lament up the way Job did. 

That’s okay.  So sometimes we think we have to always be happy or we can’t suffer.  When we do suffer, we have to kind of suppress it and just pretend everything is okay. That’s not what christ  is inviting us to. 

So Job, in the midst  of his suffering prays. He’s faithful to God.  That’s what’s graceful. That’s our relationship.  That’s our call. When we’re suffering, don’t suppress it, but actually lift it up to God in prayer. So here comes Jesus now  and he’s going through Capernaum, this town in sort of the middle to northern Israel. 

He’s going to all those people who are like Job Because there’s a lot of people who are suffering in a similar way. 

Israel is in a very difficult situation. The people are poor. Obviously, disease is rampant.  is healing their diseases, but he’s inviting them into something more. That is that relationship to God. This is why he moves on from different towns. 

So he goes to Capernaum.  He heals their diseases. And they think, okay, like everything is good now. We’ve got it all figured out.  We can go on with our life. But Jesus, and they want Jesus to stay there so they can just keep having these miracles. 

Whenever something bad happens, the miracle could be taken away. And Jesus explicitly says,  “know what? I have to leave. Which means you’re going to go back to your suffering. But that doesn’t mean  I’m actually physically leaving. I’m going to be with you spiritually. 

And he’s going to go to other towns. He’s going to do the same thing. So, he’s inviting these people from Capernaum and all the other villages in the midst of their suffering to cry out to him and to pray. 

And this is why the cross  is so beautiful in our life. This is why we exalt  the cross here  in our catholic church. And why I encourage you all  when you’re suffering to really see it  as a graced opportunity, because when Christ as hanging on the cross, he was united to God  the father in deep love. 

And every time when we suffer and our pain doesn’t go away and our misfortune doesn’t change, we too can be united to God the father and experience the greatest love there is.  Amen. 

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