Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations. And Job died, old and full of days.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
With Job we see someone who always returns to God. This gives me hope when our days and our newsfeeds are filled with so much suffering. How can I possibly see God in all this? Wave after wave of refugees and their children forced to make the impossible choice. And when we are given the opportunity to practice hospitality and empathy, so many respond in fear and trepidation.
We will not always understand why suffering seems so great in our world. We are dealing with things ‘that we do not understand,’ like Job. It’s a way of understanding that God is with us even when we can’t or refuse to see God. It is part of the mystery of redemption. Job always found a way to return to God during or after a time of suffering. How can I return to the knowledge of God’s love for me and act out of that love?
—Emily Schumacher-Novak lives in Milwaukee, WI, and works in Jesuit Higher Education and Ignatian Spirituality.
St. Therese, flower of fervor and love, please intercede for us.
Fill our hearts with your pure love of God.
As we celebrate your feast day,
make us more aware of the goodness of God
and how well He tends His garden.
Instill in us your little way of doing
ordinary things with extraordinary love.
—Carmelite novena prayer to St. Therese of Lisieux