THE SERVANT GENERAL
continue with lessons of Job with today's readings.
the havoc wreaked by typhoon Ondoy, our weather forecasters
are more keen on being able to give accurate forecasts, so
as to prepare people especially with potential heavy rains
and flooding. In a similar setting in today's gospel reading,
Jesus asks a question: "You hypocrites! You know how
to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why
do you not know how to interpret the present time?" (Lk
12:56). The world seems to be highly advanced as to science
and weather forecasting, but is unable to read the signs of
the times. The world is veering into destruction, has entered
into the end times, but people go on their merry ways, unmindful
of the disaster that can befall them.
situation connects to Jesus' second question: "Why do
you not judge for yourselves what is right?" (Lk 12:57).
Jesus calls people to live lives of righteousness, but they
seem either unable to comprehend or unwilling to obey. Even
for those who are already renewed, they still struggle with
becoming righteous in conduct. One major reason is the effect
of original sin, which is the flesh, a tendency in us to sin.
"For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is,
in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good
is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil
I do not want." (Rom 7:18-19). Even for those who want
to do good or be righteous, they "discover the principle
that when (they) want to do right, evil is at hand."
(Rom 7:21). They know what is right, but they still sin. There
is an intense inner struggle. "For I take delight in
the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members
another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me
captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members."
we then in a hopeless situation? By ourselves the answer would
be yes. We are slaves to sin. "Miserable one that I am!
Who will deliver me from this mortal body? (Rom 7:24). But
there is hope, because there is a savior. The answer is Jesus.
We have already been delivered by Jesus on the cross. He has
won for us our salvation. We are now his slaves and no longer
under bondage to sin. "Thanks be to God through Jesus
Christ our Lord." (Rom 7:25a).
the struggle continues. Having been redeemed by Jesus, we
can live righteous lives. But being still influenced by the
flesh, we can still sin. We know that Jesus has saved us,
but our body is at times weak. There is a conflict between
the mind and the flesh. How can our unruly flesh be tamed?
One major way is through affliction. "It is good for
me to be afflicted, in order to learn your laws." (Ps
119:71). Affliction brings discipline. Affliction purifies.
Affliction makes us turn to God in our pain. Affliction moves
us to cling to God who remains as the only one able to bring
relief and consolation and restoration. Affliction convicts
us of what is important in life and what our true priorities
ought to be. "Before I was afflicted I went astray"
(Ps 119:67a). Suffering caused by affliction is thus redemptive.
have already been redeemed by Jesus. He calls us to live lives
of righteousness. He is committed to teach us his ways through
his laws. We must simply desire to obey. In God's commands
we trust (Ps 119:66b). In God's word we hope (Ps 119:74b).
In God's teaching is our delight (Ps 119:70b). And it is God's
word that helps us endure. "Had your teaching not been
my delight, I would have perished in my affliction."
Lord has much to teach us, as He leads us on the path of righteousness.
Along that path will be affliction and suffering, as that
path is the way of the cross. But along that path as well
is our redemption. Let us then joyfully continue to learn
the lessons of Job.
bless you all.
to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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of Job - Part 16[PDF]