7 February 2021
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.
Brothers and Sisters,
While we should remain open to the possibility that Job was an actual living person, his narrative found in the Old Testament’s objective is to meditate deeply on the mystery of suffering. Though Job’s existence might be a literary tool for biblical scholars, one thing is true: evil is real. For that reason, we should resist the urge to deny the existence of Satan and his minions of evil. As was the case for Job, the goal of evil forces is for the faithful to abandon their trust in God. But let us not get the wrong impression of our Lord from the Book of Job either. Our Creator isn’t up for debate with Satan, giving him the agency to torment us to test our faith. Remember another truth: our God is compassionate. If we need to strengthen our confidence in this reality, we only have to look to Jesus. Christ came, aware humanity longed for a relationship with his perfect Father — our Lord. Jesus is the conduit so we can know God’s mercy and tenderness.
Powerful healing, mercy, and encouragement are ours for the taking in God’s sacred word because all who come to know Jesus and his teachings must change in light of his love. Much like Job, who had to learn tragically the importance of putting aside his own will and expectations and fully embrace the Lord. The inevitable crosses of life make acceptance of God’s plan difficult. Many rejected it, unable to submit their own will. Take heart; it’s possible through Christ! When we decide to follow Jesus and listen to his promptings in prayer, our faith becomes strong, and our will bends to that of the Father. We are transformed, an absolute necessity of authentic discipleship.
Lent is just ten days away! Take some time and ask God to inspire and inform your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that you (as individuals or as families) should embrace this Lent. Remember, it’s not how difficult or challenging your Lenten plan is, but choosing productive disciplines that expand our faith. Take discerning God’s will into your prayer life, whether large questions like your vocation to smaller ones like Lenten practices, share those questions with God – family, friends, small groups – to be sure your plan is God’s will and not your own.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett