Wednesday, October 3, 2018

More trust than patience

Growing up, I remember often hearing the expression “the patience of Job.”  And yet, this week, as we read the Book of Job, it strikes me that the great virtue we see in Job is not patience but trust. 

Yes, he is patient. But the foundation of that patience is an absolute trust in two things. First, he trusts that God is all-powerful. 

God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. 

Job recognizes the presence of evil in the world. He recognizes the power that human beings have. But for Job, there is a greater power at work in the world, God. 

Secondly, Job believes that God’s action is continuous. And here is where he differs from many of us. For many of us, we seem to believe in a world that runs along like a machine and God occasionally intervenes, possibly in answer to prayer. Job has a very different view of the world. 

For Job, God is constantly at work in the world, constantly moving the world according to His design. 

Do we as Catholics believe in free will? Of course, we believe that every human being chooses and we define ourselves by our actions. 

Each tree is known by its own fruit. 

But we also believe, like Job, not in a God who is passively observing the world and only occasionally intervening, but in a God who is every moment of every day guiding the world toward the fulfillment of His plan, the coming of His kingdom. 

Job was able to be patient because Job trusted God even when the plan was not visible. 

We are living in a time when our trust in human beings is all but completely eroded. The good news is that like Job we may find that adversity deepens our trust in God.