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After Job lost everything, his friends came to talk. The three are non-Israelites and represent the best in the ancient world. They told Job that God was perfect and just, therefore, Job must have sinned against God and that is why he lost everything. Right away we know that the smartest men in the world are wrong because God himself said that Job is righteous and innocent. After each friend spoke, Job responded by saying the opposite: God is not just and is acting like a mean bully. That does not seem to be a very nice thing to say, but remember Job lost everything. His wife is mad, his friends turned against him, his children all died, he is in financial ruin, he is homeless, and now has an outbreak of shingles. We also know that Job is wrong. God is a judge doing his job. After the back-and-forth banter, God showed up to set things straight. He offered Job a virtual tour of the world. He said to Job, “Let me show you the backside of the universe. I bet you never knew there were this many stars. Let me show the colors that I use for my sunsets, now come over here, have you ever seen a deer give birth, it snowed last night and so you have to take a look at the Himalayas.”
In this virtual tour, we notice that God sees everything, while Job only sees one thing: himself. It is true. We are often like Job when things go wrong. We only see ourselves. It is at these moments that we need to look beyond ourselves.
One day someone yelled at me. I forgot to mention the Mass intention. “You bad, bad priest.” You would think that if someone looked into my soul while I was getting a verbal beating that one would see dark storm clouds of anger and frustration forming into a raging tempest. Not at all. If you looked into my soul at that moment you would have seen sunshine and happiness because while I was receiving the tongue lashing, I was thinking about my next fly fishing trip. The last time I went fishing I caught a trout. It was the most beautiful fish. When I released it back in the water I said, “God, You really did a nice job with this one!”
The reason why Job suffered is because God believes in us. That no matter what happens, no matter how hard it may get, we will always remain friends with God. When we are having a bad day we can look beyond ourselves. If we can do that we will see that we did not lose everything. We have God, Who believes in us.Back to All Homilies