Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
Februrary 8 A.D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Psalm 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The Book of Job is one of the most popular stories in world literature.
It deals with the problem of human suffering of the just person. Why? Job knows he is righteous, but in the course of the story, as he argues with three friends who are convinced he is being punished for his sins, Job overdoes his own righteousness. He speaks to God directly, demanding an explanation for the ill-treatment he has received.
God rebukes Job for thinking that his righteous life has somehow “earned” him happiness. Job is humbled as he learns that our sufferings are not the result of our sins. Rather, that we suffer so that the works of God may be shown forth in us. Suffering is still a mystery, but our trust in God's goodness and obedient acceptance of His reasons will bring us to joyful salvation in God's heaven. In the end, health and prosperity are restored a hundredfold to Job.
His powerful story has comforted thousands upon thousands of people who have lost everything, but have held tenaciously to their faith in a loving God.
In our own lives, when we feel that God has acted cruelly or unjustly, then we need to look at Christ on the cross. Was it fair for Jesus, whose only crime was loving us, to be killed on a cross after severe humiliation and torture? Was it fair for Mary to suffer the terrible pain that only mothers can know and appreciate?
Our second reading from Corinthians gives us the example of St. Paul who endured daily trials because the compulsion of love and zeal urged him to preach the Gospel of life every day, in season and out of season. His mission, too, involved great suffering.
In the Gospel, Jesus helps Peter's mother-in-law to her feet after curing her fever. What a touching scene when this now-healthy woman immediately begins to prepare a meal for Jesus and those gathered. Although we do not know the name of Peter's wife, we admire her courage, too. Not only does Jesus take her husband away to be an apostle, he even makes a follower out of her own mother!
Like Job, may we never feel that God has abandoned us when He allows us to suffer. Rather, may we have faith enough in the wisdom of Providence that has allowed us to share in the mysterious plan of Jesus' saving Passion that goes on through the centuries. It all ends in Resurrection.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, February 8, 2009
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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