Immersed in Christ: October 2, 2020
Monday of the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Responsorial Psalm gives voice to humility and hope: “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way” (Psalm 139).
Job 38:1 to 40:5 is the dramatic, overwhelming climax of the whole book. God answers Job “out of the whirlwind” of his majesty and power: “Where were you when I founded the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, who determined its size… laid the cornerstone while the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels of God shouted for joy?” God is pointing out how little Job, or any human, knows about anything: “Have you entered into the sources of the sea…? Tell me, if you know all….”
God doesn’t give an answer to Job’s questions or to the problem of suffering. He just says, “What do you know?” He is putting perspective into the dialogue between himself and Job — and all of us. We can question, we can argue with God; but the bottom line is, God knows all, and compared to him we know nothing. So we can seek answers but not demand them. We can question everything, so long as we are unwavering in our acknowledgment that God’s answers are the right ones, whether he reveals them to us or not. We can plead our case before God, but we do not sit in judgment on him. Compared to God we are nothing, know nothing, and can do nothing. God is true, God is good, God is love. At the beginning and the end of all dialogue with God we say, “You, Lord, are just in all your ways, faithful in all your works.”1 And we ask for his guidance: “Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.”
How will we fare if God sits in judgment on us? In Luke 10: 13-16 Jesus begins “to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.”2 Strangely, those who should know best the ways of God are often the last to accept them: “Woe to you, Chorazin…, Bethsaida!… If the miracles worked in your midst had occurred in Tyre and Sidon [Gentile cities] they would long ago have reformed in sackcloth and ashes!” As Christians, we need to pay attention to this.
We assume that we would have listened to Jesus — and that we would listen now if he spoke to us. Jesus’ next words are, “Whoever listens to you [his seventy disciples] listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me.” Do we listen to Jesus speaking in one another? In leaders as well as in authorities? Do we recognize his leadership in all who by Baptism are stewards of his kingship?3 Are we studying diligently and putting into practice his words? How are we putting to use the gifts of faith, hope and love God has invested in us? What fruit are we bearing? Are we faithful or negligent stewards?
1 Psalm 145:17. Read all of it!
2 Matthew 11:20.
3 There is an unofficial authority from mission. See Luke 10:16, 19 and tomorrow’s Gospel.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Trust God and keep working for change.