Monday, September 26, 2016

Are you a fair-weather friend of God?


Today's Readings (Job 1:6-22, Psalm 17:1-7, Luke 9:46-50)

Are you a fair-weather friend of God?

Are you the Job God sees or the Job Satan sees?

I can be both at times.  More often I am a fair-weather friend of God.  Yet I want to be more like Job and more like Jesus.  So I offer this meditation to myself just as much as I offer it to you.

No one is born a murderer.  No one is born a liar.  No one is born a thief, adulterer, or con-artist.  It takes years of practice to perfect those sins.

The opposite is also true.  No one is born a saint.  No one is born virtuous.  No one is born patient, honest, or trust-worthy.  It takes years of practice to perfect those virtues.

Both sin and virtue take practice, years of practice.  Even Job was not born "blameless and upright".  In fact, in the verse directly before the beginning of today's first reading we read, "This Job did habitually"

What did Job do habitually?  He feared God and avoided evil.  He trusted God and wanted to please Him.  He interceded for his children.  They would often throw parties and so he would rise early and offer prayers and sacrifices to God on their behalf saying, "It may be that my sons have sinned and blasphemed God in their hearts."  He got up early to pray for his children, just in case.  With five boys, I need to start doing that!!

Job practiced his faith.  There is no other way he could have blessed God after losing all of his earthly loves and possessions.  He was in the habit, he practiced blessing God each day and every day for everything that was in his life - good and bad.

This should give us hope!  With the help of grace and with practice we can acquire the virtues we need to take us to heaven and bring heaven to earth for ourselves and those around us.

In the Gospel we find men who are the opposite of Job.  They (and I) are well practiced in the sin of pride.  They argue about being the greatest.  They want to trademark and control Jesus' "brand".

"Jesus realized the intention of their hearts," and our hearts, and gives us the antidote to this pride - be humble, be childlike.

Little children are joy to coach in sports.  They want to please the coach, learn, and win.  They have boundless energy and enthusiasm.  Most are humble, eager to learn....and to practice.  Let us be more childlike!

To become saints we must ask for the grace (coaching) and we must practice.  Only then can we be like Job with all of his patience.  Only then can we be like Jesus with all of his humility.  Only then will people say, "'This he/she did habitually,' and there is no doubt this person was a friend of God."

- A great book on becoming more childlike is Unless You Become Like This Child by Hans Urs Van Balthasar.  (This is an affiliate link.  By clicking on this link I may earn money by your purchase.  I do not recommend anything I haven't read or used personally and believe is of value to you the reader.  Thank you)

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