Then Job answered: “Indeed I know that this is so; but how can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength—who has resisted him, and succeeded?— he who removes mountains, and they do not know it, when he overturns them in his anger; who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; who commands the sun, and it does not rise; who seals up the stars; who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea; who made the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;who does great things beyond understanding, and marvelous things without number.
Look, he passes by me, and I do not see him; he moves on, but I do not perceive him. He snatches away; who can stop him? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s first reading just begs the question, why does God allow good people to suffer? This reading is part of a conversation Job has with three friends who have come to comfort him in his unbelievable suffering at the hand of satan: losing his family; all his belongings; and his own health.
At the end of today’s reading Job makes the statement, “If I appealed to him and he answered my call, I could not believe that he would hearken to my words.” I actually think God does hearken to our words when we call out to him in need. Did he not become man, share in our humanity and suffer an agonizing death to convince us of his unconditional, infinite and pure love for us.
I do not know why suffering is so much a part of our human existence, especially when it strikes good and innocent people. I certainly do not think God inflicts suffering on me or anyone else. I do know however, that suffering has sometimes been a great grace in my life. While I would never wish it on anybody, the times of greatest suffering in my life have also been when I experienced God’s love most powerfully, through the care other people have had for me.
During such times I have also come closer to God because, in my vulnerability, all I can do is hope and trust in God, handing over to him my very suffering. Lastly, such times of suffering have made me a more compassionate and caring person. God’s ways are not ours and indeed, we are able to find him in all things.
—David McNulty works for the Midwest Jesuits. Dave and his wife Judy are grandparents of six.
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux
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