February 7, 2021
In the Book of Job, Job is screaming out his pain and confusion: how can God permit this? It leads us into the unfathomable mystery of God’s loving Providence and human suffering. Fr. John Mary’s homily discusses the book of Job and the realization that God’s goodness and justice are an infinite mystery to us. Like Job, we may not get an explanation for our sufferings and trials, but by following God in trust, we too will receive peace.
- The whole book of Job is touching on life’s darkest problem; the unjust suffering of many, the suffering of the just.
- Peter Kreeft speaks of five layers in the book of Job. 1) will; 2) conflict between faith and experience; 3) the meaning and purpose of life; 4) Job’s identity; 5) understanding God.
- The book of Job is an infinite mystery of God’s goodness and His justice.
- Job didn’t get an explanation for his suffering, but through the presence of God and His manifestations, Job receives peace.
- God was not listening to the words of Job, but to the heart of Job who is faithful to God. God knew the goodness of Job’s heart.
- God doesn’t respond to human suffering by an explanation, He responds by a call to FOLLOW ME.
In the book of Job, we see the example of Job suffering. It was hard for Job’s friends to understand this. Yet there’s this verse where God says to the friends of Job, “My wrath is kindled against you, for you have not spoken rightly of Me, as My servant Job has done.” As Peter Kreeft says, that doesn’t seem to make any sense because Job, by his own admission, has uttered wild words of challenge to God, full of mistakes and even heresies yet, God is saying that Job spoke rightly of Him. And Job’s three friends, as Peter Keefe said, didn’t say anything but pious orthodoxies and God is saying they do not speak rightly. God is not listening so much to the words of Job as He’s listening to the heart of Job.
Job is suffering, not because he is so bad, but because he is so good. There’s no easy answer to this great mystery except what we see in the Gospel is a God who Himself suffers and suffers with us and suffers more than us. God doesn’t respond to human suffering by an explanation, He responds by a call to follow Me. Follow Me means that He Himself, even more than us, is walking this path, this difficult path of redemptive suffering.