26th Week, Sat, Oct 3

 26th Week, Saturday, Oct 3

Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17 / Luke 10:17-24

 God blesses Job: God rewarded Job beyond his dreams. 

In their book Finding God, Louis Savary and Thomas O'Connor tell the story of a young man who had a remarkable experience of God. He knelt down and prayed for the first time in over 20 years. In the course of the prayer, he surrendered himself to God, totally. As he did, he suspected that God would make his life hard and painful.  But the opposite happened. 

God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. The young man wrote later:  "Since I gave up to God all ownership of my own life, he has blessed me in a thousand ways, and opened my path in a way almost incredible to those who do not enjoy the secret of a truly surrendered life."  

Have we ever experienced God's special love after surrendering something to God? God's blessings put our wildest dreams to shame. 


We like things to have a happy ending. If it is a story book or a movie, a happy ending will earn our approval. Even in life, whatever we undertake, be it projects or assignments or whatever tasks, we would like it to have a happy ending, so that we would earn the approval of others. In the 1st reading, we have finally come to the last chapter of the book of Job. The book of Job has often been the assigned reading for those who have questions about innocent suffering. Well, the book of Job closes with a happy ending with the fortunes of Job restored and he lived to a ripe old age and full of days. Yet, Job did not find the answers as to why he had been afflicted with sufferings and tragedies. His consolation, besides his restoration, was his realization of who God is (but now I have seen You with my own eye ...) He realized that everything happens under the watchful eyes of God, and God's plan for us is always for our good and not otherwise.

In the gospel the 72 disciples came back to Jesus rejoicing that even devils submit to them when they use the authoritative name of Jesus. But the time will come when the whole strength of the enemy will come at them, and they will be persecuted and they will even have to face death. It may not be that kind of happy ending that people wish for, yet for whatever ending it will be, they will accept it willingly.

Because the true happy ending will be that their names are written in heaven. May we willingly accept our difficulties and sufferings in life and realize who God is, so that our names will also be written in heaven.


Saturday October 3


Today we hear the closing words of the book of Job. In his sufferings he has voiced his complaints, his friends have tried to justify God, but Job cannot understand fully; finally his eyes have seen, he accepts that God is greater and wiser and that God knows best. We should understand better than Job, for we have seen the suffering face of the crucified Christ.
In the gospel the disciples, and Jesus with them, rejoice that people have been liberated from the power of evil in the name of Jesus.
Opening Prayer
Lord our God,
in your bewildering wisdom
you let us stand at times
all alone before you with our miseries
and we barely know where you are.
Give us then the courage
to keep our trust in you alive,
as people without pretensions,
humble, without illusions,
but aware that you too have a Son,
who all alone and disfigured,
died one day on a cross for us,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

The epilogue to Job ties in with the prologue and constitutes a complete story in itself. Job is tested by Satan, loses all his earthly possession, still blesses the Lord, and receives back in possessions and family more than he had to start with. The explanation is satisfactory but is something of which Job was ignorant during the lengthy dialogue that constitutes the heart of the book. If we look only at the beginning and end of the book, we can say that the innocent Job suffered because he was tested. But the larger question still remains unanswered. Why is it that so many innocent people in this world suffer without apparent reason?
We, like the disciples, have ample reason to rejoice. So much that was not known to the ancients has been revealed to us. The Son of God as reconciler, the God life in the Spirit, the church, the Gospels, the sacraments.
And yet we still struggle with faith questions. There are issues that remain unanswered. And with Job we can only place them in the hands of a God who moves in ways that are at times incomprehensible to us.
Job, for the most part, had a blessed life. But at the heart of the book that bears his name, he struggled with his faith. There are times in our own life when we must do the same. We should not be disconcerted. It is a strong faith that asks the deeper questions.

Points to Ponder
The Job of the prologue and epilogue
The questioning Job
The human struggle with faith

– For the poor and the suffering, for the victims of injustice and exploitation, for the lonely and the desperate, that we may not only show them compassion but help them to lighten their burdens, we pray:
– For the dying in their hour of struggle, that by his agony in the garden the Lord Jesus may be their strength, we pray:
– For all of us, that we may learn to accept our crosses and carry them with Jesus, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father,
we bring before you this bread and wine
to be one with Jesus, your Son.
With him, may we not insult those who suffer
with hollow pious words
but stay by their side,
perhaps in silence listening to their plaints
and just let them feel
that we are there,
with Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in this Eucharist your Son has been among us
as the person who died one day for us
but who lives now a life of glory.
In him we hope and trust
that no pain is suffered in vain
but that our mourning, our sickness or misery
may make life more bearable and worth living
to someone whom perhaps we may not know,
on account of Jesus Christ our Lord.

The mystery of suffering and evil remains a problem. To many of its questions we have no answer and a superficial reference to the cross does not satisfy. We know that God wants our happiness. We also know that there is much suffering, much of it caused by people to other people. We keep believing in God’s love, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.