Saturday of the Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
October 3, 2020
Readings: Book of Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-16; Psalm 119:66, 71, 75, 91;
In today’s first reading we again (as we have in the past several days) meet Job, a man whose name has become synonymous with suffering. However, today is the end of the story, and it is a very happy ending. In fact, I sometimes think that the epilogue of the Book of Job could be summed up with the words, “And Job lived happily ever after.” But, of course, there is much more to the story than a happy ending. It is what came before the ending that gives meaning to the story of Job.
In summary, Job was a good, just and God-fearing man who was suddenly afflicted with tremendous suffering. Today, many of us are afflicted with suffering and, as it did with Job, the question arises, why me? Why do I have to endure this suffering? As we struggle with our suffering, very often no answer is forthcoming, nor did Job receive an answer about his suffering.
Job did suffer greatly, and he even reached the point where he wished he had never been born. Yet the author of the Book of Job tells us that, "In all this (suffering) Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.” Rather the author continues, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Here we must ask ourselves if we could have been that patient and place our trust in the Lord to relieve our suffering. Further, it is to hope, as Job did all, that suffering will be followed by great happiness if we remain faithful to the Lord. Unfortunately in today’s world many of us see people around us who react in a negative way to suffering and blame God for their misfortune. Today's lesson is to use Job as a powerful example of a different and much better response to individual suffering.
In today’s Gospel narrative, Jesus welcomes the seventy-two back from their first missionary journey. Their mission was successful, and a big reason why it was successful, is that they, like Job, had learned to trust in and depend on the Lord.
Question of the Day: Do you have “the patience of Job?”
Prayer: Behold me, my beloved Jesus, weighed down under the burden of my trials and sufferings, I cast myself at Your feet, that You may renew my strength and my courage, while I rest here in Your Presence. Permit me to lay down my cross in Your Sacred Heart, for only Your infinite goodness can sustain me; only Your love can help me bear my cross; only Your powerful hand can lighten its weight. O Divine King, Jesus, whose heart is so compassionate to the afflicted, I wish to live in You; suffer and die in You. During my life be to me my model and my support; At the hour of my death, be my home and my refuge. Amen. (Prayer in time of suffering, Catholic Online)