Fifth Sunday in ordinary time

Remember that my life is but a breath
   and my eyes will never again see joy.
                                           (Job 7)

The Lord…heals the broken-hearted;
    he binds up all their wounds.
                                           (Ps 146 LXX)

.     .     .

I found the dissonance between these two readings quite striking at Mass this morning. The reading from Job ends with the verse above, which reflects utter despair. Job’s life is pain and sorrow, and he expects no reversal of his fortune. The words of the Psalmist counter that hopelessness with the promise of God to restore Israel, to build up Jerusalem.

And it occurred to me that the two come together in Jesus. Like Job, he experiences pain and sorrow, as sense of abandonment and the descent into hell. Jesus is the first to experience in its fullness the redemption that the Psalmist describes. In his flesh, God binds up all our wounds; in his heart our broken hearts are healed.

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