"friends in need, friends indeed"
"Touch anything that he has, and surely he will blaspheme You to Your face." —Job 1:11
Parents tend to brag about their children, and God the Father loves to brag about us, His children. When God bragged about Job to the devil (Jb 1:8), the devil put Job down by maintaining that Job only loved God because He had spoiled Job so much (see Jb 1:9-10). Then God permitted the devil to destroy in one day Job's farm equipment business (oxen and asses), his sheep ranch, his car dealership (camels), and his ten children (Jb 1:14-19).
Imagine having in one day ten children die, several employees also dead, and three major businesses go under. Job's wife reacted predictably to these tragedies by saying to Job: "Curse God and die" (Jb 2:9). Nevertheless, Job reacted by praying one of the greatest prayers of faith ever prayed: "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!" (Jb 1:21) Job loved God with a deep commitment. God had even more to brag about in Job, and the devil was exposed as a liar.
Our Father is bragging about us. Is our love for Him deep or only skin-deep? Will we love and praise our Father no matter what happens to us, or will we let the devil manipulate us into cursing, doubting, or withdrawing from God? Sufferings tell us who our real friends are. Sufferings tell us if we're real friends of God the Father.
Prayer: Father, I love You "for better or for worse."
Promise: "The least one among you is the greatest." —Lk 9:48
Praise: As a girl, St. Therese prayed fervently for a convicted murderer to repent and receive salvation before his execution. As he was placed in the guillotine, he suddenly turned to a nearby priest and asked to kiss a crucifix in sorrow for his sins.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2012
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