Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(Job 1:6-22; Luke 9:46-50)
In a book four years ago sociologist Charles Murray demonstrated the importance of faith for a prosperous society. People who earn large incomes tend to go to church more often than people who live in poverty. The reason is not that they have more time, but that faith religion provides motives for working hard and avoiding life-disrupting vices. In today’s first reading the prosperous Job experiences downfall. It might be expected that he eject his trust in God.
But Job maintains a firm faith in God despite the losses heaped upon him and more difficulties to come. Rather than curse God or simply forget about Him, Job’s response to hardship is: “’The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!’”
We are wise to trust God in both good times and in trials. We act as His true servants when we encourage the poor to believe. In today’s gospel Jesus says, “”Whoever receives this child in my name receives me…’” That child is the poor person who should be sought out and then received at the church door.