03Oct 3rd October. Friday of Week 26

Blessed Columba Marmion, abbot.

Joseph Marmion (1858-1923) from Clane, Count Kildare, was for four years a priest in Dublin diocese and later (1886) became a Benedictine monk in Maredsous abbey, Belgium, taking the religious name Columba at his profession. Though his French was far from perfect, he was valued as a preacher in the local parishes, and became assistant Novice Master to the monks. He gave retreats in Belgium and England, and for his last 14 years was Abbot of Maredsous (1909–1923). His Christ-centred books were widely admired, notably his classic “Christ, the Life of the Soul”.

Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5

(Only if Job is himself divine, with the knowledge of hidden things, can he challenge God.)

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and it is dyed like a garment.
Light is withheld from the wicked,
and their uplifted arm is broken.”
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
Surely you know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
Then Job answered the Lord:
“See, I am of small account
what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.I have spoken once,
and I will not answer
twice, but will proceed no further.”

Gospel: Luke 10:13-16

(Tyre and Sidon would have reformed if they had seen the miracles done by Jesus.)

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.

“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

In time of darkness

Can one trust in the wisdom of God without really understanding why certain things are allowed to happen? Today’s passage from Job says “Yes” through the rhetorical questions God put to Job out of the stormy whirlwind. Because Job had questioned the truth of Divine Providence, he must be like a fellow-god: so God asks, “Have you walked about in the depths of the abyss? Do you know the way to the dwelling place of light? Do you command the morning light and show dawn its place?”

It is natural for people of faith to question God’s wisdom in their times of darkness. Yet even when life’s demands seem to overtax human strength, we are reminded how much we belong to God’s family. Like the people crossing the desert, we too have some experience the goodness, even the miracles of God. In the gospel, Jesus reminds us again of these miracles and holds out to us, even during melancholy times in the life of our church, his promise of a new energy, with life transformed in the direction of justice, love and peace.

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