In today’s First Reading the Lord responds to Job’s multiple chapters of lament and disputation with his friends over why such suffering befell him. Wisdom encompasses a great deal of knowledge, and one of the characteristics of ancient wisdom literature in general are great lists surveying the immensity of the natural world. The Lord is now questioning Job about how much he really knows, as opposed to how much he thinks he knows. Job, again showing his humility and respect for the Lord, knows he won’t win any debates with God.
In the face of suffering our distress is compounded by how little we ever truly know about the why. When our suffering is due to evil we’re reminded that iniquity is a mystery; sometimes we ask why and there is no answer. When faced with any mystery we’re dismayed by how little we truly know, and suffering is one of the greatest mysteries of all, but it is nothing compared to the mystery of God.
Our Lord knows the answer to all of life’s mysteries and has experienced suffering in a way most of us cannot even imagine. In difficult moments let’s turn to him for consolation and strength. He may not give us all the answers we want, but he will accompany us in every leg of our journey.
Readings: Job 38:1, 12–21, 40:3–5; Psalm 139:1–3, 7–10, 13–14b; Luke 10:13–16. See also 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.