Scripture: Lectionary 458. Job 19:21-27. Psalm 27:7-8.8-9.13-14. Luke 10:1-12.
Job’s “friends” are no help to him in his tragic sufferings and losses. They are there to develop the trust and humility of Job and to teach us the readers how to endure our pain and suffering and to put up with the little things that hurt or irk us. No one escapes these. Sometimes even our friends let us down and that too is somewhat “covered” in the long narrative and dialogues within this masterpiece of Wisdom literature. Job stays with his friends and continues to patiently offer responses to their critical questions and their doubts about his innocence. They are quite judgmental and this becomes an added burden for the man named Job. Job yearns to see God’s face and live not die. We read early that the Israelites were afraid to see the face of God and if they had any visit from a messenger of God they thought they would surely die. Not so Job. He says, “I shall see God; my inmost being is consumed with longing!” This is the cry of a holy or righteous person not an angry or vindictive one. Job resists the temptation to blast his friends out the water because he sees more profoundly and deeply than they do when it comes to
communicating with God.
The great Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation” takes up the same type of prayer that Job has within his heart and shares with us the readers. We learn much from this man of wisdom, patience, and enduring prayer of trust. The words that help us to recognize Job are “I believe I shall see good things of the Lord in the land of the living.” The most hopeful prayer issues forth in the same vein: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I will see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
In Luke the Journey Narrative has begun. Jesus has informed the seventy-two disciples what their mission will be and how to go about it. They are to move quickly unencumbered from village to village. The people are considered to be the harvest which is ready to be gathered to hear the Good News. Healing, preaching, and teaching as well as the exorcising of evil will be done if they are united to Jesus as true disciples and apostles of the word of God. They are to be the first missionaries who do all these things in his name.
We may ask ourselves what do we learn from these Scriptures? From Job and the Psalm? Am I searching for the face of God? Will I remember God during the course of this day? Will I be able to recall some of the verses I have heard today in the liturgy or from my personal reading of the passages chosen for this day? This is part of our call to discipleship. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.