The first reading for today's Mass is taken from the Book of Job in the Old Testament. Last year Pope Francis gave a talk about Job's painful situation and I wish to give a summary of his talk.
Job was grieving because his servants and all ten of his children had died at the hands of a war party from a neighboring tribe. Pope Francis said that Job remained hopeful and loyal to God in the midst of his grief. He quoted a verse from Chapter 19 of the Book of Job in which Job said, "I know that my redeemer lives."
Job was hopeful because he never lost his faith. In spite of experiencing a string of major tragedies he felt God's presence. His experience of God's continuous presence gave him hope for the future. When looking to the future Job said, "I know that I will see my redeemer. I will see him with my own eyes."
The New Testament is also filled with hope. Jesus suffered and died; but that was not end of the story. On the third day His Father raised Him up and gave Him New Life. A life with no more suffering, no more tears and no more sadness but only joy and peace as we read in the Book of Revelation.
At this point we come into the picture. We qualify for that New Life because Jesus said, "After I am lifted up I will draw all people to myself." (John 12:32) Not some people but all people. And that is the basis for our hope. Jesus is drawing us to Himself.
Fr. Jerry Schik, o.s.c.