Book of Job Introduction
Why Should I Care?
TUESDAY August 1
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
Job, Chapter 1, Verse 1
In the land of Uz there was a blameless and upright man named Job, who feared God and avoided evil.
Can a man be blameless and upright and yet not be filled with self-pride? Job teaches us that we need to be all in with God.
Four Lessons of Job
- Believe with all your heart in the absolute sovereignty of God. Pray that God would give you that conviction.
- Believe with all your heart that everything he does is right and good. Pray that God will give you that assurance.
- Repent of all the times you have questioned God or found fault with him in the way he has treated you. Pray that God would humble you to see these murmurings as sinful.
- Be satisfied with the holy will of God and do not murmur.
“You can’t shape the future to protect your child but you can shape the child to cope with whatever the future brings”. This was the gift that my father gave to me and my sisters.
Today is my deceased father’s birthday. My father was not always a blameless and upright man but he had a great devotion to St. Jude. He always sworn it was St. Jude’s prayers and intercession that brought him home from the war in the pacific and maybe it was. He got my grandmother to sign the papers and he was in combat before his 18th birthday. He was a ghost diver during WWII; his job was to scuba dive in before invasions set up radio beacons for the invasion and avoid detection or capture. He went on 26 missions with 11 others in frogman teams. The normal mortality rate for these teams was 50%. After the war; my father drank a lot to forget. As his disease of alcoholism ramped up he stopped going to church refusing to go to church drunk. I don’t know if my father was aware of this verse where St. Jude admonishes false teachers who used the church as a sort of country club and caroused fearlessly looking after themselves. My father did not see the church as a social institution but as a place where one encounters our Holy God, our Holy mighty one; our Holy immortal one. My father knew he was a sinner. He always said that St. Jude was his patron saint because; St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and my father swore that’s what he was. As his disease progressed he stopped going to church but built a shrine to our Mother Mary. Every day he would cut fresh roses for the shrine and sit at twilight, with beer and cigarette in hand; silently staring at the shrine. In the end my father did receive his last rights and was ushered into our Lord by our Lady and St. Jude.
The seven Machabean brothers, together with their mother, were martyred about the year 164 B.C. by King Antiochus Epiphanes. The mother in particular deserves to be admired for the heroic fortitude with which she encouraged her children to suffer and die. Their remains were venerated at Antioch. After the church which was built above their resting-place was destroyed, they were taken to Rome; during the renovation of the high altar of St. Peter in Chains (1876), a sarcophagus dating from the fourth or fifth century was found; lead tablets related the relics to those of the Machabean martyrs and their mother. Seldom does it happen that the Roman Church venerates Old Testament saints in the Mass and Office; it is much more common in the Greek rite. Martyrdom before the advent of Christ was possible only through faith and hope in Christ. Today's feast is among the oldest in the sanctoral cycle. In the second Book of Machabees, sacred Scripture recounts the passion and death of the Machabees in a very edifying manner. St. Gregory Nazianz discusses why Christians honor these Old Testament saints: "They deserve to be universally venerated because they showed themselves courageous and steadfastly loyal to the laws and traditions of their fathers. For if already before the passion of Christ they suffered death as martyrs, what heroism would they have shown if they had suffered after Christ and with the death of the Lord as a model? A further point. To me and to all who love God it is highly probable that according to a mystic and hidden logic no one who endured martyrdom before the advent of Christ was able to do so without faith in Christ."