Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Patron Saint of People Suffering

Lectio:                                           Job 7: 1-4, 6-7
MEK drawing

Job spoke, saying:
   Is not man's life on earth a drudgery?
   Are not his days those of hirelings?
   He is a slave who longs for the shade,
      a hireling who waits for his wages.
   So I have been assigned months of misery,
      and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
   If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?"
     then the night drags on;
   I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
   My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle;
      they come to an end without hope.
   Remember that my life is like the wind;
      I shall not see happiness again


Job is going through many tribulations.  In the beginning of the Book of Job we learn that Job's sufferings are caused by Satan.  Satan claims that Job only appears righteous because he was comfortable, healthy, and carefree.  If all Job's well-being were taken away, he would curse God. So we see what happens when Job's good fortune is reversed.  These specific verses are really part of Job's replies to his friends, who suggest that God is punishing him.  As we read here, Job says his trials are just part of life.  Everyone has them.  God has nothing to do with suffering.  Job never turns on God.


Job is the patron saint of people suffering. Whenever people ask, "Why did God send this disaster?"  "Why did God allow this to happen?"  "Why do bad things happen?" "What kind of God would do that?"  And of course, God does none of these things.  It's all part of the human condition.  Remember we were kicked out of the garden of Eden? We, humans, are in charge of this world.  God gave us dominion over it, remember?  Otherwise, if everything were always honkey dorey, we'd be living in paradise, not here.  Like Job tells us, life is like the wind.


Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job, our lives are nothing without You.  This life is drudgery, work and then you die.  Without You in our lives, life would be unbearable.  You make this life bearable.  Always hold our hands.


Lord, hear our prayers.

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