Day 16:  The Suffering of Job

Genesis 31:1-55 Jacob fled from the unfair Laban with his family and flock, but Laban caught up with them. After some discussion, they formed a NEW COVENANT between themselves; this pact was formed under God’s watchful eye shown by the fact that God had spoken to Laban the night before and urged leniency toward Jacob. Household gods: These were small statues of pagan gods, which provide evidence of pagan practices in Laban’s household. Rachel’s theft indicates her own attachment to these idols. (CCC 57, 2110-2117)

Ch 31:53 Fear: A translation of the word Jacob used to refer to God, indicating his power and majesty. Jacob had a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with God demonstrated by his familiar way of speaking. The phrases “God of Abraham” or “God of Isaac” reflect a personal bond with God rather than a distant and aloof connection. “Fear of the Lord” is called for in the Commandments and is also one of the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (CCC 1845)

Ch 32:25-31 On the evening before his planned confrontation with his brother Esau, Jacob wrestled throughout the night with a mysterious being, overpowering him and exacting a blessing from him before he departed. The mysterious person who took the liberty of changing Jacob’s name, and at the same time, refused to state his name, is God or God’s special messenger. Jacob’s new name, Israel, would become the name by which the people of God would be known. The Church has traditionally seen this episode as symbolic of our struggles to persevere and remain faithful to prayer as an indispensable way to overcome temptation and grow in sanctity. (CCC 409, 2573, 2592, 2725, 2752)

Job 22:1-10 Eliphaz accused Job of all kinds of treachery, especially the exploitation of others. He made a rash judgement about Job: that he believed God did not care about a person’s sinful actions. Eliphaz again urged Job to repent since he thought God rewards or punishes each person to his or her deeds. It is only by God’s grace accompanied by good actions that we are able to express faith in and love for God. (CCC 682, 1821, 2005, 2009)

Ch 22:27 Through CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER aided by the Holy Spirit, we can meditate on the mystery of God. If we are faithful to moral law and display a strong trust and a humble desire to do God’s will, we can be assured that God hears our prayers. (CCC 2598)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 12: Jacob Wrestles with God (Genesis 32:22-31)

 Just before he reunites with his brother Esau, from whom he had stolen the blessing, Jacob “wrestles” with God, a pivotal moment in his journey. Here, Jacob receives the name ISRAEL, which means “to wrestle with God.” This is also the name of the nation that will come forth from his twelve sons.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: "God in Heaven, we know that you love us. You love us in our brokenness and in our weakness and we can trust you, even when we do not understand what you are doing. Help us to trust you this day as we journey with you, as we live this day in your presence, as we live this day in your will. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."