Job 6: The Reply of the Innocent
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
It is true that sometimes we are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and yet we suffer. One of the primary questions we ask as human beings is this: Why is it that things sometimes go so wrong for us and so right for others? We also ask: What have we done to deserve suffering and how do we cope without falling apart entirely? Some of us even ask: How long can I go on? Is life worth living?
Today we hear from Job, the man who suffers through no fault of his own. His fidelity attracts Satan’s notice and so he becomes an object of play in the devil’s evil game. Job describes with beautiful metaphors how quickly his friends abandon him, being undependable as a brook, as watercourses that run dry in wadies . . . [they are] caravans [that] turn aside from their routes [to] go into the desert and perish.
In today’s Gospel (Mark 7:31-37) we hear the story of how Jesus opens ears and a throat when he says words that he also says to us: Be open! In MAGNIFICAT, the mini-reflection for Morning Prayer reads: Jesus opened the ear of the deaf man that he might hear in a new startling way the word of salvation. What we hear as good news, we proclaim as good news: that is our task as disciples.
How we arrive at not hearing is not important; nor is the question about why we have become silent in our isolation. What is important is this: That one has come who releases all of us from our bondage – whether these chains have been acquired through our own action or inaction, or whether we are innocent slaves. One has come to call us to unity, and this one calls to each of us: Be open!
Be open to a surprising newness. Be open to pardoning and being pardoned. Be open to miracles in our lives. Be open to the amazing potential we possess. Be open to proclaiming the good news that we are free and need not toil futilely. Be open to the life of discipleship. Be open to union in Christ, with Christ himself. Be open . . .
This is easy to hear but difficult to do. We might turn again to Job who knows the pain of separation . . . and also the joy of reunion.
Whether we suffer in innocence or through our own action or inaction, our reply to the one who created us can be the same. When we hear the voice that calls, let us all answer: We are open to the possibility that we might live again! This is our best human reply to the divine.
And this is the greatest miracle of all . . . that whether we suffer through guilt or whether we are innocent . . . we can all be open to God . . . for we are all sought by God for to each of us he says: Be open!
Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 6.9 (2009). Print.
Click on the image above for more on the suffering of the innocent, or visit: http://www.thelakesanglican.org.au/why-does-god-allow-suffering/