Taken from Catholic Exchange
by Dr. Mark Giszczak
June 21, 2015
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Job 38:1, 8-11
When we experience pain, we are tempted to blame. Deliberately inflicting pain on ourselves is unthinkable, so most pain is surprising, unexpected and (so we think) someone else’s fault. It is much easier when there is a person to take the blame, to be the scapegoat. It purges the foul stench of evil from among us. Yet when there is no one to take the blame, we have a problem. That’s when most of us start pointing our fingers at God, blaming the Almighty for all our ills. In the Bible, Job did the same thing and finally got an extraordinary and unpredictable response from the Lord.
To set the stage for our short reading clipped from the end of Job, it would be worth remembering what the whole book is about. Job is a righteous man, so righteous in fact that the Lord boasts about him to Satan. When Satan claims that Job is righteous only because of the blessings he has enjoyed from the Lord, the Lord permits Job to be afflicted with all kinds of suffering—his wealth is stolen, his children die, his servants are murdered, his body is covered with sores. In the midst of his epic suffering, great sorrow overwhelms Job and he curses the day of his birth.
WHO’S TO BLAME?
When his friends arrive to console him, they sit in silence for days before a conversation begins. The central problem confronting them is really a “blame game.” Job knows that he is righteous and wants to blame God for unfairly inflicting all kinds of suffering on him. His friends try to convince him that he must somehow deserve all of the suffering he is experiencing, even if it is because of a hidden fault. Job continues to insist on his blamelessness and wants to enter into a lawsuit against the Lord, to prove his innocence.
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