HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME,YEAR B
1 Corinthians 9:16-19;22-23
*THEME: BEAUTY IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING*
Beloved in Christ, confronted with suffering , sickness and pain, man always wonders whether life can be beautiful. He also tries to understand the origin and meaning of suffering and sickness. For the problem of suffering and disease pose a huge threat to a believer’s faith in a loving God.
My dear friends, we cannot be oblivious to the reality of suffering and disease in our world. For we see the devastating effect on our loved ones, the world and our own life.
Beloved, both the first reading from the book of Job and the gospel passage from Mark tell us that suffering and sickness are part of the human condition. And that without God, life is nothing.
God therefore does not offer us a bed of roses but a promise that He will accompany us through pain to full life in Christ Jesus.
My dear friend, the promise of God journeying along with us in moments of suffering and sickness is what gives us renewed strength and hope.
Life then can be beautiful in the face of suffering and sickness because of the assurance that God is the one journeying with us.
Beloved, in the second reading, Paul decided not to eat meat again (1 Cor 8:13), that is, he would not exercise his right if this prevented others from accepting the gospel.
We therefore have an obligation as Christians in the midst of suffering and pain not to give up on hope. But the question is “Can we trust God in the midst of suffering?”
Beloved, we Christians are to answer this question to the world. For like every human being, we also ask questions. However, these questions do not diminish our faith and trust in God who is our Father.
We should then not give in to despair in times of suffering because of God’s own assurance that if we are steadfast to the end, He will crown us with a crown whose glory surpasses the most intense of our suffering.