Reflection for Friday, October 6, 2000: 26th week in Ordinary Time.
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One of the things that often surprises me in my students is the assumption that understanding God should be easy. Organic chemistry ought to be hard, calculus ought to be hard, but theology ought to be easy. It isn't.||I think deep down my students, like all of us, really do recognize that the ways of God are elusive and at times extremely difficult to fathom. This was certainly true of Job. He encountered such enormous suffering that he was tempted to lash out against God. To Job's rebellion God responds with a reminder that he, not Job, is in charge of the world. Job simply does not have enough knowledge to see the whole of God's plan and purpose.|It sometimes seems trite and woefully inadequate to offer God's providence as a response to the inevitable human question "why." This requires a deep level of trust that God will indeed, someday, make his ways clear to us even when those ways seem unbearably harsh.|The Gospel reminds us that not trusting God and not listening to God is a form of rebellion and challenges to us to reform our lives to conform to God's will. In a way, both Job and Luke recommend a path that is articulated less harshly by the psalmist: there is, really, no place empty of God. God's presence surrounds us and penetrates into our innermost self. If we recognize that God is the reality that grounds us and sustains us, how can we not submit, as Job did, to God's providential care. Guide us, Lord, along your everlasting way.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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