September 30, Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Daily Readings: Jb 38: 1. 12-21; 40: 3-5/ Ps 139: 1-3. 7-8. 9-10. 13-14ab/ Lk 10: 13-16
The question ‘why is there suffering in the world?’ is universal and ubiquitous. At some point or other in our life, we raise this question. The normal answer is, “People suffer because of their sins.” It was also the answer of the Jewish wisdom and prophetic traditions which said, ‘The Israelites suffered a lot because of their sins.’ However, the book of Job strikes a different note. It communicates that though Job was a just man, still he suffered. So the author of the book of Job seems to communicate that ‘We can’t understand everything in the world, including suffering. Life is a mystery and God is a mystery. So it is better that we accept these un-understandable things and learn to live with them and not probe too much into them.’ The first reading communicates how the human mind is limited and cannot grasp the grandeur and the immensity of God and His plans.
It is the lack of appreciation for the limitedness of the human mind and of the immensity of God that leads to sin. Let us take for example the towns Jesus cursed: Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. These are the towns in which Jesus did a lot of miracles and preached about God’s Kingdom. However, people in these towns did not take his preaching seriously and thus conversion did not take place. One reason why they did not take the message of Jesus seriously could be the ‘I-know-everything’ attitude. People, who are unaware of the limitedness of their minds, indulge in their narrow-mindedness and are not open to anything that is good from the outside. A story is said about a frog from the sea which accidentally landed up in a pond. To the frogs in the pond, the sea frog began to narrate the vastness of the sea. One of the frogs in the well responded, “Do you mean to say that the sea is bigger than this pond? I think that you are lying. This pond is so big that nothing can be bigger than it.” This is the case for many human beings today. Accepting our limitedness and appreciating the grandeur of God is the way to come out of our suffering and live lifelong repentance.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.