A Moment before the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

About every bad thing (short of his own death) has just happened to Job and, in Sunday’s Old Testament reading, Job reacts to his world falling apart.  We’d like to write Job off as too extreme to be real, but the truth is that we’re only a couple of bad things away from being Job ourselves.  We don’t want to admit it, but this is where (in different ways) we all end up on our own. 

Paul knows that what Job says about where we end up on our own is right.  Which is why in Sunday’s Epistle (1st Corinthians) Paul says that he has become all things to all people.  It’s so important that Paul is doing everything possible be understood and to help – and it starts with meeting people where they are, by being with them.   

There’s a difference between helping people and helping someone.  You can help people in general from a distance, and it does do some good.  But if you want to do the greatest good for someone specific, it’s got to be personal. 

In Sunday’s Gospel (Mark), Jesus shows us exactly what that means in practice.  The alternative Jesus offers to where we end up on our own doesn’t happen from a distance, it’s personal.  One person at a time, one heart at a time.