03 Oct. Wednesday of Week Twenty Six
Job 9:1ff. Job confesses God’s omnipotent control of the universe and his mysterious guidance of life.
Luke 9:57ff. Jesus responds to prospective followers by a series of stern statements.
Courage amid Uncertainty
Job takes us back to that austere period after the exile as inviting us to examine how we deal with crisis in life. He replies to Bildad, the second friend who had come to offer his sympathy and comfort in his dark hour.
This chapter summarizes the Book of Job: In the end, nobody can be justified before God, whose wisdom and power are beyond our understanding.. “Should He come near me, I cannot see Him; How much less can I give Him any answer.” The final poem (Job 38-41) proclaiming God’s control of the universe, beyond human scrutiny and comprehension, is already sketched for us in today’s reading. Like Job, we too must live within a dark cloud of mystery, and learn the way of faithful humility before God. Quick answers, like fast food and overnight wealth, are generally not the best for physical health and psychological peace. We can learn to recognize the inner groaning of the Spirit ” awaiting the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23).
Very few people can live heroically on a day-by-day basis, nor should life be planned that way. Yet, testing moments come to each disciple, and then we need to hear again the stern words of Jesus: “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. Let the dead bury their dead. Whoever puts his hand to the plough but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God.” To deal with today’s challenge we need to discern which of today’s readings apply, yet even today we must prepare for tomorrow and its new demands.
Job 9:1-12, 14-16
Then Job answered:
“Indeed I know that this is so;
but how can a mortal be just before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand.
He is wise in heart,
and mighty in strength – who has resisted him,
– he who removes mountains,
and they do not know it,
when he overturns them in his anger;
who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun,
and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens and trampled the waves of the Sea;
who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
who does great things beyond understanding,
and marvellous things without number.
Look, he passes by me,
and I do not see him;
he moves on,
but I do not perceive him.
He snatches away;
who can stop him?
Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’
How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
If I summoned him and he answered me,
I do not believe that he would listen to my voice.
Gospel: Luke 9:57-62
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”