God’s way is not of Violence

September 27, 2022 – Tuesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092722.cfm)

Desperation and hopelessness in life may push us to the brink of giving up and of total retreat. It would be very difficult also to find meaning, purpose and sense of what is happening especially when what we see is a surmounting suffering. People who have reached such kind of situation in life would somehow wish to be dead rather than continue enduring such meaningless suffering.

This is the very situation that the author of the Book of Job is trying to bring to us today. The story of Job reveals to us such human misfortune and unimaginable tragedy in life. Job found the meaninglessness of his suffering and going through all those tremendous tragedies in his life. Those left him speechless perhaps he was looking for understanding and explanation on why such tragedies should happen to him, a righteous and good person. This difficult moments in the life of Job really pushed him to that brink to give up. He cursed the day of his birth and just wanted to die in order to end his deafening suffering.

However, despite this human experiences of suffering, the prayer that we find in the Psalm gives hope and comfort to our heart, “Let my prayer come before you, Lord.” This is a prayer of a person who is already at the bottom of the pit, into the dark abyss of hopelessness. The person was overwhelmed with so much suffering in his life yet, he also recognized that the Lord was his only help. In spite of hopelessness, he continued to HOPE for God to rescue him.

This prepares us now how the Lord allows us to realize and see how God works in our messed up life in order to bring healing and the fullness of life. However, God’s ways may not be easy to understand and may be totally different the way we want it to be. What we need then is to tune in our heart and mind into the ways of God and to be more trusting in God’s ways. Moreover, we can take confidence and be more certain that God’s way will not bring us to harm. The way of the Lord is not towards non-life, not towards violence against life as Job wished it to be. God’s way will always be to save life, to renew life and to heal life.

This is how we find Jesus’ way as what the Gospel of Luke revealed to us today. A Samaritan village refused to accept Jesus. They did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. These Samaritans because of their social and religious differences with the Jews became hostile since the Jews also treated them with contempt and hostility. It was because of this that John and James wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume and punish these unwelcoming people. But then, Jesus rebuked them because God’s way is not of violence, not of death. This was how the two got their title as the Sons of Thunder.

The rebuke of Jesus towards James and John against their violent response tells us that God has indeed his own way of calling us and his own way of saving us even when we have become unwelcoming of his presence. Jesus’ way is indeed not of violence.

This calls us now that as we face difficulties, great suffering and hopelessness in life we may be reminded that God’s desire is to rescue us, to bring healing and freedom to us so that we may also have that fullness of life with him. We may become more trusting also of God’s ways even when these may become beyond our demands and beyond our human understanding. Kabay pa.

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