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Sunday, February 5, 2006

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5th Sunday Ordinary Time

Job 7:1-4, 6-7
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Psalm 147
Mark 1:29-39

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i know my redeemer lives (jb 19:25)

"I shall not see happiness again." —Job 7:7

How many of you can identify with Job in his hopeless misery? (Jb 7:3) Your situation is so bad that you can say: "I loathe my life. I will give myself up to complaint; I will speak from the bitterness of my soul" (Jb 10:1). "I have been assigned months of misery and troubled nights...I am filled with restlessness until the dawn...My days...come to an end without hope...I shall not see happiness again" (Jb 7:3, 4, 6, 7).

God's plan is not to spare us from difficult times; His plan is to be with us in our difficulties. God sent His only Son Jesus, Who is called "Emmanuel, a name which means 'God is with us' " (Mt 1:23). The true test of a Christian comes in the crosses of our lives. Our actions in times of distress tell God whether we want Jesus with us or whether we just want to be spared adversity.

If we know Jesus is with us, we can face adversity with hope and even joy. With the prophet Habakkuk, we declare in hope: "For though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, though the flocks disappear from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord and exult in my saving God. God, my Lord, is my Strength" (Hab 3:17-19).

Job looked up to heaven in his misery and saw the Lord for himself (Jb 42:5). Knowing God was with him made all the difference for Job. Know Jesus; know hope. No Jesus; no hope. "Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), the only Hope you need.

Prayer:  Jesus, pour out Your love in my wounded heart (Rm 5:5).

Promise:  "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." —Ps 147:3

Praise:  Praise the Risen Jesus, Whose death and resurrection has enabled us to live in hope.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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