Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 22 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Mary Magdalene
Aleteia logo
Spirituality
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Why Job should perhaps be in our Nativity scenes

Advent18-Job-by-Leon-Bonnat-Shutterstock

Leon-Bonnat & Shutterstock

Msgr. Gregory E.S. Malovetz - published on 12/20/23

Pilgrims to the Manger: One might wonder, why introduce Job at this time of year? Job can seem like a downer for anyone focused on the comfort and joy of the season.

He was 10 years old when it happened. Talk show host Stephen Colbert’s world changed forever the day his father and two older brothers were killed in a plane crash. In the years that followed, faith and grace brought him to a deeper understanding of life, too often marked by tragedies and grief. Colbert says, It’s a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that, but if you are grateful for your life, then you have to be grateful for all of it.

For people of many faiths, and none, the Biblical story of Job has been used to explore the question, “why do bad things happen to good people?” Those who have read the story understand the question is never really answered. Yet looking down the centuries at Colbert, Job would agree he learned the same truth, if you are grateful for your life, then you have to be grateful for all of it. 

One might wonder, why introduce Job at this time of year? Job can seem like a downer for anyone focused on the comfort and joy of the season. Perhaps if the figure of Job was placed in our crèche, we might understand this feast in a deeper way. The smiling baby is the compassionate Savior, who as an adult embraces those for whom life has been unkind. Jesus offered a listening heart and healing presence to anyone living with unanswered questions or dreams that became nightmares. The wood of the manger becomes the wood of the compassionate cross of Jesus.

Not everyone comes to this time of year with a holly, jolly Christmas spirit. To them Job beckons, “come stand near the manger, there’s room for you.” This too is the life of faith for which we are grateful.

~

[The Aleteia community is joining the journey of an Old Testament pilgrim each day this Advent, as they lead us to the Christ Child in this holy season. Find the daily reflections here.]

Tags:
Pilgrims to the Manger
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Aleteia-Pilgrimage-300×250-1.png
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.