Job had it all—500 yoke of oxen, 500 she-asses, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, and 7 sons and 3 daughters. But one day tragedy struck. First, his 500 yoke of oxen and 500 she-asses were stolen. Then his sheep were killed by lightning. And then his camels were stolen. Finally, his sons and daughters were all killed when the roof collapsed while they were eating together. Nevertheless, Job remained faithful to God. The next day Job was covered from head to foot with painful boils, and still he remained faithful to God.
None of us ever went through anything like Job experienced. Still most of us have suffered disappointments, frustrations, and setbacks in life. Perhaps we have felt like echoing the words of Job in today’s first reading, “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” (Job 7:1-4, 6-7) And if we are not careful, those feelings can lead to discouragement and depression. However, if we have faith and hope in Jesus, we realize our sufferings can’t compare with Job or Jesus. We can use our sufferings as a prayerful offering to God in imitation of St. Paul who said, “I rejoice in my sufferings, for I fill up in my body what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the good of his body, the Church.” (Col 1:24) When looked at it in this way, our difficulties and discouragements lose their intensity and fade into the background as we recall the glorious resurrection of Jesus and Job’s restoration of blessings at the end of his book.
“We have nothing of our own but our will.
It is the only thing which God has so placed in
our own power that we can make an offering of it to him.”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars