If you’re having a bad day, the First Reading from today’s Mass may not do initially do anything to cheer you up:
Job spoke, saying:Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?Are not his days those of hirelings?He is a slave who longs for the shade,a hireling who waits for his wages.So I have been assigned months of misery,and troubled nights have been allotted to me.If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?”then the night drags on;I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;they come to an end without hope.Remember that my life is like the wind;I shall not see happiness again. (Jb 7:1-4, 6-7)
Upon further reflection, however, this reading reminds us that our earthly life isn’t the whole story. Someday, if we follow God’s commandments, it will be possible to live forever in total happiness. In a sense, that should make anything on this earth bearable. All sickness, financial difficulties, discomfort, unhappiness will come to an end someday.
In a few weeks, we’ll begin the season of Lent. Throughout those seven weeks, we will be able to look at our lives and make some changes. We can reflect on those things which may be keeping us from a closer relationship with The Lord. As Job reminds us, this life can be difficult at times but it is temporary. Therefore, we shouldn’t put all of our effort into pursuing only those things that bring us pleasure. All earthly things, even if they feel good, will come to an end someday. Instead, we should concentrate on accumulating heavenly treasures.
So today, let’s remember that we can unite all of our daily sufferings with the suffering of Christ (Col 1:24)…By doing that we can assist in the salvation of mankind. We can also console ourselves with the “depressing” words of the prophet Job who reminds us that one day the “drudgery” of this life will come to an end. By looking at things that way, it may just be enough to cheer us up if we are having a bad day!