0

Strength and Kindness

First Reading: Job 1:6-22

One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD,
Satan also came among them.
And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?”
Then Satan answered the LORD and said,
“From roaming the earth and patrolling it.”
And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job,
and that there is no one on earth like him,
blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil?”
But Satan answered the LORD and said,
“Is it for nothing that Job is God-fearing?
Have you not surrounded him and his family
and all that he has with your protection?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his livestock are spread over the land.
But now put forth your hand and touch anything that he has,
and surely he will blaspheme you to your face.”
And the LORD said to Satan,
“Behold, all that he has is in your power;
only do not lay a hand upon his person.”
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

And so one day, while his sons and his daughters
were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
a messenger came to Job and said,
“The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them,
and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid.
They put the herdsmen to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Lightning has fallen from heaven
and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another messenger came and said,
“The Chaldeans formed three columns,
seized the camels, carried them off,
and put those tending them to the sword,
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While he was yet speaking, another came and said,
“Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine
in the house of their eldest brother,
when suddenly a great wind came across the desert
and smote the four corners of the house.
It fell upon the young people and they are dead;
and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Then Job began to tear his cloak and cut off his hair.
He cast himself prostrate upon the ground, and 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!”

In all this Job did not sin,
nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 17:1BCD, 2-3, 6-7

R. (6) Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee
from their foes to refuge at your right hand.
R. Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Gospel: Luke 9:46-50

An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply,
“Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company.”
Jesus said to him,
“Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

NAB

sept-26

Let’s look closely at the Psalm today, shall we? David is teaching us a thing or two about how and what to pray. He offers God a just prayer, one that he truly believes is crying out from a place of wanting to be in God’s will. Sometimes, we are tempted to pray to change God’s mind or to orchestrate what we want. Always, we need to begin with God’s will. He has a plan and as much as He wants to hear our hearts (so much!), He doesn’t need us to tell Him what to do. Instead, He wants us to ask Him for the grace to do whatever He tells us. Incidentally, He will “tell” us if only we’ll listen hard.

David feels unduly persecuted by his enemies and he wants God’s help. So often, the enemies of the Old Testament seem far from our present plight. But what if our enemies are fear or anxiety or envy or impatience—the things that tear away at our relationships, both with others and with God? If those are our enemies, can we cry out to our Lord as confidently as David does? We sure can.

When we do, when we pray without lips of deceit—that is with a sincere and contrite heart—we draw close to the God who wants to save us from every enemy, even the demons in ourselves.

So often, life seems unfair and we look at our days (and our nights) and we wonder why we are afflicted with the unique “enemies” that are ours. It simply doesn’t seem just. Sometimes, there are genuine injustices between ourselves and the people in our lives. Sometimes, life deals us a bad hand. When we look at our relationship with God though, there are no scales of judgement.

If God were to judge us justly, we would always be condemned. Instead, we ask our Lord for mercy, not justice. We ask Him to help us even when we’re tested, even when it feels like the whole world is against us. We beg Him to find us to be without malice. Of course, there’s no chance that will happen unless He helps us make it happen. Cry out to Him right now. Don’t wait. Name your enemies, the demons that torment you. Ask Him to bring you peace. Let Him send you out today to be a messenger without malice.

[bctt tweet=”Cry out to Him right now. Don’t wait. // @elizabethfoss” username=”blessedisshe__”]

Please Lord, in the face of injustice and sorrow and my own internal demons, give me the strength and grace to always be humble, gentle, and kind.

photo credit

Elizabeth Foss is a wife, the mother of nine, and a grandmother. She finds the cacophony of big family imperfection to be the perfect place to learn to walk in the unforced rhythms of grace. You can learn more about her here

No Comments

Leave a Reply