St. James the Apostle Parish

This week's trivia answer


In the Old Testament we read the account of Job, an innocent person who suddenly lost his property, his family, and his health.  (And we think we have problems!)  He not only suffers these horrendous disasters, but is also baffled at why he is experiencing them.  At the time of Job, people believed in divine retribution: God sends punishment only to those who do evil and rewards only those who do good. This explains why Job has become a symbol for those who suffer continuous hardships in their lives for no apparent reason.

Can you relate to Job at times in your life when you are afflicted with trials or troubles that seem overwhelming and out of your control?  Each of us has probably struggled with understanding the “why” of suffering, especially when innocent people are involved.  At times, we even are tempted to ask how God can allow such tribulations to happen!  For example, when mass shootings or wild fires occur, we are faced with such a situation.

The Book of Job offers us a reflection on the real origin of suffering and helps us to wrestle with the mystery of it.  Do we truly believe that God always wills our good and never wishes evil upon us?  How do we respond in the face of the despair that can come from suffering?  Does our faith and our life experience assure us that some good will always come out of evil?  Do we reach out in generosity with material and spiritual aid to those experiencing calamities?  Perhaps this week we can read the short Book of Job from our Bibles and see what insights we will find for understanding suffering.

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