LIFE LINES

“Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit?” –Job 3:20

Mass Readings: September 27
First: Job 3:1-3,11-17,20-23; Resp: Psalm 88:2-8; Gospel: Luke 9:51-56

Nearly all of us can identify in some way with Job’s misery. Sometimes life is bitter (Jb 3:20) and full of drudgery (Jb 7:1). Relief eludes us (Jb 3:13), and death seems better than any hidden treasure the future could possibly hold (Jb 3:21). Then it gets worse. We “have forgotten what happiness is” (Lam 3:17; Jb 7:7).

When life is no longer worth living, then we’ve forgotten what life really is. To be more specific, we’ve forgotten Who Life is. Jesus is Life (Jn 11:25; 14:6). Because Jesus is Life, our lives are full of meaning, power, and hope, no matter how miserable our circumstances. Because we are alive, we Christians carry in our bodies the life of Jesus (2 Cor 4:10). His life is revealed in our bodies, even though we are being delivered to death (2 Cor 4:11).

Jesus enables us to become better instead of bitter. On the cross, Jesus overcame all the bitterness and misery that ever existed. He understands our pain and misery far better than we do (Heb 2:17-18). Jesus, the Deliverer (Ps 18:3), sometimes rescues us from “the pit” (Ps 40:2-3). If He doesn’t rescue us from “the bottom of the pit” (Ps 88:7), then He does something even better: He comes into the pit with us and shares His life with us (Ps 23:4; Mt 1:23, 28:20). We Christians believe that it’s far better to be in the pit with Jesus than to be comfortable without Him (see Ps 84:11). With Jesus the Life by our side, we have life “to the full” (Jn 10:10).

PRAYER: Jesus, “to me, ‘life’ means” You (Phil 1:21). Thank You for the gift of my life.

PROMISE: Jesus “firmly resolved to proceed toward Jerusalem.” –Lk 9:51

PRAISE: St. Vincent, who converted his slavemaster, lived life to the full through his countless acts of generosity and love.

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