……”affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint” Romans, Chapter 5

This is a reading from our Mass last Sunday. Every time I hear this quote about faith, hope and love by St. Paul, in Romans, I think about all of the challenges most job seekers are faced with in looking for a job today. Even in this economy, there are tons of people that are either unemployed or underemployed and have a phenomenal difficulty in finding a job.

Especially in my profession, which only places maybe 1% or 2% of the people we interview, we hear from people all the time about the difficulties and challenges the ones we cannot help are facing. This is especially true when you’ve been out of work for six months or more and have never had to face this kind of challenge. When people lose their job, through no fault of their own or have never had such a difficult time in finding a job, going months without even an interview, even on a professional level, I’m reminded of their afflictions.

Unfortunately, we are not in a position where we can console, much less listen to everybody’s story of their afflictions when it comes to looking for a job. Often times losing a job leads to all kinds of unintended consequences like divorce, depression… I’ve even had a few such candidates since 1973 commit suicide. I try to remind people of what St. Paul wrote here in Romans.

If we try to remember that no matter how difficult being out of work or needing a new job can be, we have to pray for faith, hope and love. I know that’s really easy to tell someone else, especially when they are going through a phenomenally difficult time and we are not. But we all have to believe, even know, that no matter how difficult the affliction, it can lead to endurance that helps our character and gives us hope.

Even for one brief moment every day, if people who are going through this kind of seemingly unending affliction could realize that the affliction could lead to hope and hope, through the Holy Spirit cannot fail to lead to good, their life can be better. Seeing the blessings of hope in just about everything we experience is really hard to do. We can always see it for the other guy or gal, but it’s really hard to see it for ourselves.

Have faith. Endure!


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