5th Sunday of the Year – Suffering: Part I

Jesus healing

Study:  Reflect on moments of sickness and healing.  Where did you see God’s hand at work in your life?

Pray:  Is there something in your heart that is keeping you from being healed?  Ask the Lord for the grace to remove the obstacles that prevent the saving touch of Jesus.

Serve:  Who in your life is struggling with suffering right now?  How can you help support them in their need?

5th Sunday of the Year Readings

Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Maybe you’re different, but I find it ridiculously easy to take my health for granted.  I can find myself in patterns of thought where I just assume that my body will work exactly the way it is suppose to, without hindrance, mishap, or breakdown – and you know what happens when you assume…

Let’s face it: suffering stinks.

It took parish priesthood to teach me how precious is the gift of life, and that includes the gift of health.  I make routine visits to the hospitals, say Mass at the nursing homes, and anoint people frequently at church for the surgeries, procedures, tests, and treatments that are part of our battle for healing.  All of us know – either personally or through loved ones – the challenges of suffering.

Some might ask, “Why does God allow this to happen?  Wouldn’t a loving God keep everyone healthy and happy?”  Admittedly when we see people who, through no fault of their own, endure horrible pain and illness we rightfully want to know why; at least, it is one of my Top Ten questions to ask the Almighty.  And while we do not get our answers in this life, we can acknowledge that suffering is part of human experience; it is something that – in greater and lesser ways – we will all encounter in our journey through life.

We see an authentic expression of suffering in the words of Job and the crowd who came to Jesus.  Job’s words echo the cry of many who lose hope in the face of ongoing physical, mental, and spiritual anguish; the press of the crowds around Jesus underscores our deep desire to find healing and relief.

And in the midst of the reality of human suffering, we encounter Jesus at the heart of our experience.  The Lord does not avoid human misery; rather, he reaches out to touch and bless it.  It is this encounter with Jesus – healing body and soul, preaching Good News to the poor in spirit, and casting out evil wherever it is present – that renews lives and fosters hope.

God seeks our healing:

  • In sound bodies (Body)
  • In clear thinking (Mind)
  • In right relationships (Heart)
  • In spiritual harmony (Soul)

So, what needs to be healed in our lives today?  What in our lives – Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul – needs to be touched and blessed by Christ?  God knows our need, may we come to the Lord and seek the one who longs for us to be made whole.

 

 

About Fr. Andrew Ricci

A Catholic priest since 1997, Fr. Andrew Ricci is currently the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Superior, WI. His website "Three Great Things" can be found at studyprayserve.com and his podcasts can be found under "Catholic Inspiration" in the iTunes store. View all posts by Fr. Andrew Ricci

One response to “5th Sunday of the Year – Suffering: Part I

  • yokopogo

    During the years I worked as a nurse I found myself often questioning the reason for suffering in regards to God’s plan. I came to the following conclusions. We are here for three main purposes:

    #1 To love God with our whole mind, body and soul

    #2 To learn to be true servants of God

    #3 To teach others

    I believe that we can learn many things through our own suffering or the sufferings of others such as compassion, patience, empathy, gratitude for health, courage, forgiveness, the power of prayer, and countless other lessons. Suffering is a tool that brings us closer to God. I find I no longer question the existence of suffering in my life but I ask myself what this suffering can teach me, or what I can teach others by moving through it with the grace of God.

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