Monday, September 28, 2020

 Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time

(Job 1:6-22; Luke 9:46-50)

In a Civil War movie a group of Black recruits are training for war.  One fellow, known for having a good eye, hits the practice target.  Then the trainer gives the marksman a true test of combat readiness. He comes near and shoots his gun while the man is aiming his rifle.  The recruit becomes unglued and fires way off the mark.  Today’s first reading tells a similar story.

It is said that the measure of a person is taken not in good times but in times of adversity. So perhaps Satan has a point in wanting Job’s righteousness tested when events turn against him.  In the passage Job is sent a series of horrible setbacks.  Despite losing both family and fortune, however, he still praises the Lord.  He will be tempted even more viciously but will always remain loyal to God.

Can we do the same?  We hope so.  But it is wise to prepare ourselves for hardship by discipline and compassion.  We might fast regularly from food and visual stimulation to prepare for times of deprivation.  We could also go out to the grieving and distressed.  Sharing their pain, we anticipate the days when a heavy load will be placed on our shoulders.