Categories: HomiliesPublished On: February 7th, 2021696 words21.1 min read

Here are links to our readings for the day:


Whenever we hear a reading from the book of Job our first thoughts are “suffering”. I mean, Job had so much when suddenly all his children die in a catastrophe and he is stricken with boils – even on his feet. Yet he maintains he does not deserve this suffering. Even his wife tells him to curse God and die. But Job knows he does not deserve this. Then the story tells us that Satan and God have been talking. Satan challenges God that Job will deny God when he must suffer. God allows Satan to attack Job but not kill him. What does this say to you about God? Does this seem fair? Is this a loving God? Through all of this Job does not curse God but bemoans the fact that this should not be happening to him.

Then we have three of Job’s friends who come to visit him. For the first seven days of their visit, we are told they lay on the ground with Job. I see this as a sign of union, they attempt to share in his suffering. It is important to have friends like this. It is even more important to be a friend like this. How often have you been at a funeral for a friend and you do not know what to say? Then just a smile or a hug speaks more eloquently than any words will at that moment. Job’s friends should have known to be quiet for then they speak. They tell Job he must have done something wrong to receive this suffering from God. This is an ancient version of the “Prosperity Gospel’.  It is the belief that if you do everything right God will reward you. This is a terrible way to think of God. God does not will or want anything bad to happen to anyone. The ‘Prosperity Gospel’ really implies that God does bad things to people and that is simply wrong. In all this, Job continues to bemoan the fact that he does not deserve this suffering.

Then a fourth friend shows up, but he says the same things as the other three. Here is where God speaks, but in a way that is different. Instead of explaining to Job why he is suffering God says who made the universe, the sun, the moon, the stars? God says did you help make the mountains, the sea, or the air we breathe? Which of the animals did help me create? What God is implying is I am God. My ways are greater than your ways. My knowledge is infinite, and you are not. When Job accepts this then God blesses Job with additional children and more animals and many other blessings. You might say what just happened?

First, we need to remain thankful to God for everything in good times and in bad. Second, Job never lost his attitude of trying to understand why this was happening to him. We call that the virtue of hope. Job, even in the worst of his suffering, did not give up on hope. He really trusted in God. Of course, he complained and made it known he did not like it, but he never gave up hope.

Take a second look at the gospel for today. All the people that came to Jesus for healing, they came because they had hope. They probably complained about their suffering, but they saw hope in Jesus. And Jesus, as God, healed as many of them as He could because He is God and as God He was restoring His creation to wholeness. Jesus, restoring creation, not only making everyone whole but forgiving sins. This is the mission of Jesus.

If you have not for some, time prayer the Act of Hope, look it up on Google. This would be a good time to memorize it again. We need all the hope we can get.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Fr Ed Anderson
Email: fatheredanderson[at]
Phone: 715.817.3736

St. Joseph Church – Rice Lake
Holy Trinity – Haugen
St. John the Evangelist – Birchwood
Our Lady of Lourdes – Dobie

Fr Ed Anderson