Daily Reflection
October 7th, 2000
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
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Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-16
Psalms 119:66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130
Luke 10:17-24

Job’s Final Answer  “…I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know…”

Job 42:1-3, 5, 6, 12-16 

In Praise of the Divine Law  “…Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in your commands I trust…I am your servant; give me discernment that I may know your decrees.”

Psalm 119: 66, 71, 75, 91, 125, 130 

True Cause for the Apostles to Rejoice  “…Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven...”

Luke 10:17-24

Someone once told me; if you think you have troubles read about Job.  Well in today’s reading, following the last 4 days of being in the Book of Job, we find the conclusion of Job’s story.  This is the part of Job’s story for which we should focus our attention.  It is in this book’s conclusion where we witness the payoff for Job’s persistence in Faith.  Read Job’s story, but focus on the conclusion, don’t get discouraged with Job’s life of tremendous suffering. 

Job really does experience more than most of us can imagine, suffering through loss of family, loss of personal possessions and a severe deterioration of his own health.  At some point in the readings we find ourselves not being able to relate to Job’s story.  How could anybody endure this life we wonder?  Then in the next week in our own life, we find ourselves challenged beyond imagination.  A close friend or family member loses their battle with cancer; on top of another family member having car trouble, or some other financial challenge in the same week.  Or, maybe you find out one of your teenage children has been hanging around with a bad influence, and so your life becomes much more complicated.  The stress builds and we find ourselves recognizing Job’s plight, even though it seemed impossible at first.

Beyond the “personal catastrophes” (involving possessions, health and family) several other influences were at work to discourage Job and cause him to curse God, including Job’s own wife and his best friends.  Job fidgets and groans a lot throughout the story.  He does curse the day he was born, but he won’t abandon God.  In today’s reading, we find Job resolved to stay united in his trust of the Lord to the end.  Is this a test we could endure?  Many of us do, even though it may have come in a smaller dose, across a shorter time frame, but every bit as intense.  When I think about what hardship could I not endure, a recurring scene comes to mind.  I’ve often wondered what I would do if I were a stranded military person, shot down, in enemy territory.  I saw a show once that highlighted the journey to freedom for a pilot, who laid in hiding, eating bugs to stay alive.  I couldn’t and still can’t imagine myself enduring that experience.  Our day to day stresses, including what many of us have on our to-do list, can become quite stressful, to the point of wondering if we can survive, but we do.

So as I said in the beginning, today’s reading about the conclusion of Job’s hardship and restoration to good favor is the place to direct our reflection.  Focusing on the hope, rather than the negative is truly energizing.  It is far more valuable to reflect on how we might become knowledgeable about the Ways of the Lord, so as to be faithful through our own trials.  So with God’s Grace, we will all do what needs to be done when the time comes. 

Another part of that hope is found in the reading from Luke’s gospel today.  It is so encouraging to all people, I think of it as the great equalizer.  We find the scene of a commission of 72 new followers of Jesus, having come back from their first assignment.  They are excited as they share their experiences of curing the sick and expelling demons with each other.  First Jesus tells them “Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven.”  This is a good reminder for us as well.  The HOPE restorer is when Jesus says for the world to hear “At that very moment he rejoiced [in] the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.  Yes, Father, such has been our gracious will.’”(Luke 10: 21). 

Hope because, for us all we know we don’t have to be wise to understand God.  From today’s reading in Job, we know we don’t have to be as wise as Job, to be able keep the Faith.  Today in Job we are challenged, and in Luke, we are consoled, we find God waiting with open arms, for Jesus tells us, God does reveal Himself to the simple and the childlike.

In honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, let us pray to Mary, asking her intercession to help us to say our “yes” to doing God’s will.  Let us also pray for the ability to comprehend God’s revelation, in order to sustain our Faith and Love for Him despite our trial.


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