September 28, 2020 (Monday of Week 26 Year II)
Naked I came
Dear friends in Christ, it is very important never to forget one’s roots and beginnings. With all the fashion trending in the world today, nakedness was the first dress of everyone. Even though no one is buried naked, as cultures have developed varying rites of burial; after death, no one really cares about what the body is covered with.
Our first reading today (Job 1:6-22) comes from a classical literary work. The story of Job is not seen in the historical sense, but it teaches great lessons about how a faithful person should behave, even in the midst of calamities. It is often very common to question why bad things happen and sometimes to challenge God for allowing some things to happen. The book of Job sees it differently. Job is an honest and faithful man who in spite of his wealth humbled himself before God. The story began on a very surprising note when it talks of the sons of God coming into his presence and Satan too. God asked Satan, “Where have you come?” And when he said he's been everywhere, God inquired, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” Satan replied that, Job has been faithful because he’s been blessed with the good things of life, and sought permission to test him.
Satan went forth and in about a day, destroyed everything Job had worked for and his family—he lost his farm, his animals, his servants and his children. When the news of all these got to Job, “He arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground and worshipped.” That’s incredible! Then he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Such a faith is hard to find but the lesson is clear, we came into the world with nothing and at death we will take nothing with us. Why should such a good man suffer? But Job passed this test from Satan. Many of the calamities and problems faced by those who are faithful to God, come as the test of their faith. It comes as something too heavy to bear—once but too much. Those who are faithful like Job however, do not allow the challenges they face to stop them from their worship.
Job’s answer is easy to read when we are not in his condition; but it is very consoling to have it at hand, because there is no one without a challenge of faith. When Satan brings the challenge, he presents also many options and alternatives to God, to shake you off your feet, and take you far away from God; do not yield to his plans.
The Gospel (Luke 9:46-50) presents the disciples argument about who is the greatest at a time Jesus just told them about his coming suffering. Jesus took the opportunity to teach them rather about service. The one who is willing to serve is the greatest. Rather than seek to lord it over others, let your work speak for you.
Let us pray: O God, give us a faith that can withstand all tests and give us the grace to commit ourselves to the service of you and our neighbours. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.