An argument arose

Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Greetings on this the Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: JB 1:6-22; PS 17:1BCD, 2-3, 6-7; LK 9:46-50
Notes: I do not want to say I am unpacking the entirety of the Book of Job. That is the work of the Ages. Job plumbs the depths of the permissive will of God and the insufficiency of man to understand the situation as it really is and how the Lord treats us in fact.

Hurricane Ian offshore nearing Cuba.

First reading
One day, when the angels of God came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “Whence do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming the earth and patrolling it.”

Satan put Job to four calamities in this Old Testament portion.

  • Two are from the Evil activity of nations (Sabeans and Chaldeans).
  • Two are from the evil (little e) of nature.
  1. The oxen were ploughing and the asses grazing beside them, and the Sabeans carried them off in a raid. They put the herdsmen to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  2. Lightning has fallen from heaven and struck the sheep and their shepherds and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  3. The Chaldeans formed three columns, seized the camels, carried them off, and put those tending them to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.
  4. Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, when suddenly a great wind came across the desert and smote the four corners of the house. It fell upon the young people and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you.

Responsorial Psalm
Incline your ear to me and hear my word.

Alleluia Verse
The Son of Man came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Gospel Portion
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.

In our gospel portion today, the emphasis shifts from what Satan was allowed to do (evil in the world) to childlike behavior and the tender care of children. The shift is away from ‘power politics’ to love excelling.

Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

The greater question is are we treating people well (remember the Sabeans and Chaldeans) and are we ready to place love received and love given as the rod by which we judge.

Job ends this way:

Thus the LORD blessed the later days of Job more than his earlier ones. Now he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters: the first daughter he called Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. In all the land no other women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren (Jb 42:12-16).

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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