BY: Bishop Gerald M. Musa

Job 7:1-4, 6-7; Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6; 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23 Mark 1:29-39.

“The Fault in Our Stars” is a story about sickness and healing written by John Green. It is about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus who are struggling with cancer. Hazel has thyroid cancer which spread to her lungs, and Augustus has osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer that originates in the cells that form bones. Hazel and Augustus develop a deep and meaningful relationship and as they face their illnesses and pain. They share their interest in literature and provide emotional support for each other. Even, in their sorrows, they share happy moments. The story explores the question of how delicate life is, the meaning of existence the challenge of living with a life-threatening illness, such as cancer. The story of Hazel and Augustus says much about seeking meaning and purpose in the face of illness. The story also teaches the meaning of the power of resilience of the human spirit and the fact that healing involves finding meaning, connection and joy amid suffering and pain


At different times in our lives, we are afflicted with one form of sickness or another. Sometimes our sickness may be slight and at other times it may be serious enough to keep us away from work and other activities for days or even months. Therefore, we can understand the predicament of Job, who was talking to himself (soliloquizing) in his moment of anguish and loneliness saying: “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.” These are the words from someone who was going through some excruciating pains and trials. The story of Job and his misfortune depict our wretched human condition in which we experience all kinds of brokenness – broken hearts, broken bodies, and broken spirits.

Our broken hearts are consequences of emotional distress, and disappointment, our broken bodies from sickness and physical pains and our broken spirits come with obvious symptoms such as despair, sadness, low morale, sadness, and depression. A central message in the story of the misery of Job is the fact that sickness is not only reserved for sinners (as some traditional and religious communities think), but for every human person. Job was by every standard a righteous, faithful and generous person, and yet he was subject to the trial of sickness, impoverishment, and a period of powerlessness. Job cried out in his pains, he challenged God in his sickness, and he poured out his heart in his lonely moments but remained steadfast in his faith. The Youth Catechism book states “In the Old Testament sickness was often experienced as a severe trial, against which one could protest but in which one could also see God’s hands” (no. 240)

The mission of Jesus is to demonstrate the power of God and illustrate how much God cares for people in their miserable conditions. He came to restore people to wholeness and to make them enjoy the fullness of life. He says, “I have come that they may have life to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus fulfils the words of the Psalmist which says, God “heals the brokenhearted and binds their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Jesus came to comfort and console the brokenhearted and to heal their wounds and restore them to life. He healed Simon’s mother-in-law by approaching her, grasping her by the hand, and helping her up (cf. Mark 1:29-39). He lifts people from their pains and miseries. No wonder “They brought him all who were ill and possessed by demons” (Mark 1:32).

Jesus is in constant solidarity with the human race, particularly with the sick and suffering. In coming into the world, he was in solidarity with the entire humanity in the flesh, in his baptism he was in solidarity with sinners, and on the cross, he expressed his unreserved solidarity with the suffering and those who are in all kinds of pain. Thus, Jesus became a model of solidarity for Paul the Apostle who says, “I have become all things to all, to save at least some” (1 Cor. 9:22). Paul confidently says, “I have made myself a slave to all to win as many as possible. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak” (1 Corinthians 9:19). In Shakespeare’s book “The Tempest” one of the principal characters, Miranda, perfectly expresses words of solidarity and compassion similar to Jesus’s and Paul’s. Miranda said to her father Prospero: “I have suffered with those that I saw suffer.” Miranda’s words fit in very much with the ministry of Jesus in the world.

We can be assured that Jesus constantly heals our broken hearts, bodies, and spirit. C.S. Lewis author of “Problem of Evil” wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences, but shouts in our pains.”



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