26th Week, Monday, Sept 28

Job 1:6-22 / Luke 9:46-50 

Suffering comes to Job: Job remained faithful to God. 

 The Book of Job is one of written books in the OT. It deals with a man named Job, who spent his whole life doing good. He was a real saint. Then, one day, a series of terrible tragedies comes crashing down on him. Job can't understand why these things happened to him, because he had always led a good life. He seeks an answer from his friends. He seeks an answer from God. But no satisfactory answer comes. Through it all, however, Job trusts God. He doesn't know why he is suffering, but God does and that's enough for Job. 


Today we hear the beginning to the book of Job. Job is not historical but a reflection, mostly in a poetic form, on the existence of evil, particularly as it comes to good, innocent and God-fearing people. For his answer, because he lacks the perspective of eternal life, the author cannot go beyond this: God is wise, we are too small to understand him. God knows. Leave everything to him. Be patient and trust him. Childlike, but not childish... We are God’s children, yet not infants. We have to grow up constantly to the maturity of Christ, to remake with the help of the Spirit, our unity, the center of ourselves.


How do we react when suffering and misfortune come crashing down on us? "Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Christ." Mother Theresa 


The Bible is an honest book. It speaks not only of virtues and holiness, but even of the faults of the important biblical figures. So here, for narrow minded pettiness, we get two instances. The apostles discussed who was the greatest among them. And later John, of all persons, wanted Jesus to forbid a man to use the name of Jesus in driving out demon, they did not think that it is not the opinion of others that makes them great but what they are before God, who alone can objectively assess the greatness of man. John did not think that it is more important that a devil has been driven out, than it is to ask who did it and in whose name it was done. These faults gave Jesus the chance to give two important lessons: What counts before God is not what people think, but real greatness can be found in what is smallest in the esteem of the world like the child that God loves. God's love of men is tolerant. It values the good that has been done more than the narrow-minded question who did it? 



There are some things which we would certainly like to put on display. Whether it is at home, or in school, or at the club-house, or even in the parish office, if we have any awards, or academic achievements, or medals, or trophies, we would certainly like to put them a special display. In a way, all those items are mirrors. They show us how good we are and what we can do. They are also indicators of how we fare with others, to see what we are and who we are in comparison with others. In the gospel, the disciples were ranking themselves against each other, and that's when Jesus interjected.

The model of greatness which He gave them was a humble little child. That was really a contradiction and a paradoxical model of what we are so used to when we talk about greatness.

Because we tend to associate greatness with power and might, and achievements and possessions. But when these are taken away, is there anything else that we can be proud of or feel great about? We can slowly understand a bit of what greatness is all about when Job in the 1st reading said this after all he had was taken away:

Naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I shall return. The Lord gave, the Lord has taken back. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Let us Pray: Lord our God, your Son Jesus Christ became a child of people. He made children the privileged symbol of the truly adult disciple. May we have the openness and receptivity of the child: humble, authentic, and open to your love and to your gifts. For only then will you fill our emptiness through Jesus Christ our Lord.