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Job and Jesus: We All Have Troubles

    This Sunday's first reading will be from Job a book of the old Testament that is rarely used in the Lectionary; it and the other Sunday's readings are the beginning of a week long look at Jesus and his healing, how we all, great and small, will face adversity and that God is there to support us during those times.  

Reading my Catholic Women's Bible there is a supplement to the Book of Job readings written by Caryll Houselander: God's Giving Hands.  She writes that all things are given to us by God but if we do not acknowledge that joy and sorrow are gifts of God we can not feel God's love in the midst of suffering.  Yes emotions are gifts of God, but they are tools to help us deal, understand and move forward when we do have troubles; they are the ways we seek God during this time, and how we express our need to others.  And speaking and seeking support from friends as Job does, is one way to seek God and the help we need.

Her statement bothers me.  It sounds as if Ms. Houselander is still viewing suffering and troubles as punishment, very much as we see in Deuteronomy, it is a philosophy that permeates society, it is easier to say if something goes wrong it must be God's will.  That is fatalistic and takes away from God His Divine nature making Him more petty than loving. 

Couldn't it be just as effective to say that God's love and support is what helps us bear up in times of trouble?  Why would God cause trouble in our lives so we turn to him?  Look at Job as a forerunner to the healing ministry of Jesus.  Part of the mission of Jesus was to heal those suffering, the ultimate act of healing was His death and resurrection, Jesus does not put a price on his healing as in Deuteronomy that had clearly defined and specific sins and their consequences.  In fact Jesus clearly says when asked what sin did the blind man or his parents commit that "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. John 9:3

The passage does not say that God created the man's blindness, but that it just happened, it was the roll of the dice; the important thing is that God will always be there to heal, to save, to love.   I have worked with many a young mom who suffered a miscarriage and to say to them that it was the will of God is to insult their hope that God is a loving God to them during their most personal of tragedy  

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you. I don't think God hurts people in order to help them later. Our pain and suffering is a by-product of being mortal. God allows us healing by nurturing ourselves spiritually and transcending our flesh.