01Oct 1st October. Wednesday of Week 26

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church.

Thérèse Martin (1873-1897) from Lisieux, Normandy, was a Carmelite nun, popularly known as “The Little Flower” or as “St Thérèse of Lisieux.” She entered the Discalced Carmelites in 1888 at the age of 15, joining her two elder sisters in that cloistered community. After some years as assistant novice mistress, and having wrestled with the dark night of faith, she died of tuberculosis, aged only 24. Her spiritual autobiography The Story of a Soul appeared soon after her death and had immediate impact under the title “The Little Way.” Because of her intense prayer for missionaries, she was declared co-patron of the missions in 1927, and in 1997 was declared a Doctor of the Church.

1) Job 9:1-12, 14-16

(God’s omnipotent control of the universe and his mysterious guidance of life.)

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,
and succeeded?
— 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

(Jesus responds to prospective followers by a series of stern statements.)

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.”

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.

2 Responses

  1. Deacon Phoebe of Cenchrae

    This is what sr Catherine Broome OP wrote about St Therese,doctor of the church:‘Thérèse had a special insight regarding the mystical body of Christ and the great variety of charismata,’ said the Pope. Because of her clarity of vision, this special gift of the Spirit which makes her the greatest prophet of our time, we can also dare to trust her deep conviction that even a women could be a priest, and that there is nothing in the Scriptures which gives men a special place in that matter. John Paul II has, with his words and deeds, guided by the Holy Spirit, confirmed that this woman was sent by God to assist us in interpreting the signs of the times and to come ‘closer to the will of God.’( “The Priestly Vocation Of Therese of The Child Jesus” in Spirituality,Dominican Publications,Dublin,1997)

  2. Darlene Starrs

    Therese is a saint, because she did precisely, what is stated in the above entry….she lived in Christ, heroically, on a day-to-day basis…Her dream was to be in heaven with Christ, and to see to it, that all those called by Christ, found Him, as their bridegroom as well as she. Yes, she had other aspirations, including desiring to be a priest, but, it was always because she wanted to bring souls to Christ.

Scroll Up