The last two daily readings from Mass have centered on Job and the constant struggles that he goes through. It highlights particularly how he reacted to losing his whole family, animals, livelihood and ultimately himself getting sick. He never once blamed God but he did have moments where he wondered why he was even born and the purpose of his life.
When he was first struck with the deaths of his children, loss of his animals and the destruction of his livelihood – he said something that still holds significant meaning. He said “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD”. He understood that we come into this world completely helpless and are naked. This can be taken literally as naked or we can look at it figuratively. When we come into this world we have absolutely nothing but what God created us with; hence being naked. Through death we are made naked again because we enter into eternity with nothing but what God created us with.
Let that sit for a minute and process it. When we are born we have the body that God created specifically for us. When we die, we have the soul that God has created specifically for us. We don’t have money, cars, phones, jewels, etc. We have nothing but what God has given us, thus we are naked. We can look at it as if the Lord has given us a loan on our body. We are not the owners of our body, God us the ultimate owner. It is our job to take care of it, keep it clean from sin and follow the rules that God has set forth. At any moment God can call His loan back. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away.
One of the most pertinent parts of that is when he says Blessed be the name of the Lord. He still blesses God even though he is going through these hardships and he lost his children. This is something we should all do when going through a tragic time, bless the name of the Lord. God didn’t have to give us all life but He did, He didn’t have to die for our sins but He did. We sometimes take for granted everything that God has given us and expect it to always be ours when in reality it was never ours to begin with. The lives of our loved ones are not ours nor is it theirs, they and we belong to the Lord. That is why loss can sometimes be so crippling and hard to understand. God has a purpose for everything that happens and that purpose could be to help us become better people. Now, we have to remember that while God controls everything He also allows humans to pick their own path and He allows for nature to take its course. It’s not God’s will for someone to have a heart attack, rather it’s His will that nature and human choices take front and center. It could have been that the person’s heart was just weak or they ate the wrong foods and didn’t have a healthy lifestyle.
When more occurrences happen to Job, he turns the focus on himself and says “Perish the day on which I was born”, he then goes on to wonder why he was even born. Again, the focus in purely on his self and not directed towards God. He had a moment where he was feeling sorry for himself because of all the bad stuff that was happening to him. We all have periods of time in our life where a tragedy has occurred and it seems life one thing after another is going wrong. It can be frustrating, mind boggling and quite saddening but one thing we must never do is lose our faith. We should never blame God and turn our backs on Him. We count our blessings, raise our heads to God and say anything through you is possible
To you I raise my hands in praise,
Even if I feel pain and loss today.
I want your strength to get me through,
I will never lose my faith in you.
You are my love, my life and father,
I will stay strong through you and will not falter.
The war between good and evil has already been won but the battle will rage on until the end of time. Every time a new soul is born they become a target to be won for the side of evil. This is a concept that to many seems very barbaric and ancient – just not fitting into the mold of today’s society. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is the cause of many souls losing the battle. How do we win our battle? It is very simply actually, always hold your faith in Christ dear and never turn your back on God.
Those 2 simple truths will help you win the battle against evil but it doesn’t make it easy. This life will never be easy because if it was then we would never learn anything, we would never be for Christ. The purpose of the devil is to destroy the inner peace that all people hold within their hearts when they have Jesus Christ. When we choose to let events dictate our inner peace, then we are letting the devil control it and this begins the downward spiral of losing the battle.
Bad things are bound to happen in this life, they are inevitable. It is how we react to these events that determines the lasting outcome of them. Evil cannot eternally damage you unless you give it permission to do so. Now, this doesn’t mean blatant sign on this line permission – it’s more of permission that can be seen in our actions. For example, someone is downright mean to you, how do you react? With anger and fight back or do you wish them peace and simply walk away. The immediate reaction is to get defensive and give back what you are getting. We have to get ourselves in the frame of mind that we don’t need to get even or get on someone’s level to defeat them.
What we have to realize is that people are not always going to follow Christ and are not going to accept His Will. When this happens they are more open to being influenced in the wrong direction, which means that will not always be the nicest – specifically when you are dedicating your life to Christ. We can look at everything on a spiritual level because ultimately that is what we are. When we die in this world we become our souls; our bodies, worries and materialistic possessions are left in this world. We won’t take anything with us but our souls which is why we have to protect them. We are vulnerable because of our human weaknesses that came about when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge. We have to continue to work towards overcoming these weaknesses which is where Christ’s sacrifice can be an extremely important tool.
Jesus Christ is fully divine but is also fully man and made a true sacrifice for that which benefited others, a selfless act of love. He felt every pain, every insult, every drop of spit and the heavy weight of the cross which was on Him. Instead of quitting and asking God to take away the pain, He continued on His way of the Cross to save us from damnation. This needs to be a focal point for us when we are going through life and faced with difficult choices.
Your sacrifice saved the eternal lives of all those seeking your mercy,
Please help me to spread the message of your saving grace.
Help me to banish the evil attacks from my heart,
To not let them disturb my inner peace.
Give me the grace to look to you when facing trying times,
To not let my human weakness become a crutch but to overcome it.
We all have a purpose because God loves us enough to give us each a purpose. Sometimes it may be difficult to understand what that purpose is and we may struggle to find the meaning of what our life is. It is not because God wants to see us struggle but rather because we are consumed with earthly desires and problems – so much so that it blinds us spiritually.
We should allow ourselves to be guided spiritually through Gods desire for us but sometimes our hearts and minds are so noisy that we can’t hear God. He knows what is best for us, so it is up to us to be willing to listen to God. Often times when we don’t listen to God and something goes wrong, we don’t have the confidence to understand that everything happens for a reason. We feel put upon as if everything wrong that could happen is happening to you. During this time, instead of turning to God we turn away from God.
Speaking from personal experience I didn’t always listen to God, like I do now. Times were not always easy because I would constantly doubt myself, in turn doubting God. It is like a horrible cycle that can only be broken when you completely follow Gods Will. In today’s society it is easy to ignore Him and simply say the idea of following Gods Will is out of fashion.
Can you imagine? Standing in front of God and saying the reason that you won’t listen to Him or follow His way, is because He is “out of fashion”. It’s not the hip and cool thing to follow God because He doesn’t fit into our modern society. That is something I can’t quite wrap my mind around simply because of how much God loves us. He created us out of love, sent down His Son out of Love and continues to guide us because of His unending love for us.
We blindly follow stars because of their status, we constantly listen to music because we like it. Why can’t we follow God? Why can’t we listen to Him? We can’t let the draw of this world overcome our spiritual desire to draw close to God. When we do that, then we risk eternally damning our souls and being cut off from God. He never asks of us more than we can handle – we just have to be willing to listen and actually follow His commands. Think of how easy it is to listen to a star go on about their favorite charity, then it makes you want to donate to their cause. If we could give God that much room in our heart, then think of all the wonderful things that we can accomplish.
Open my heart to the wonders of your word,
Allow me to listen to the teachings you have set forth.
Help me to open my heart and ears to your unending love,
And envelop me with your grace and love.