“Now my eye sees you,’ therefore I despise myself.”
A reading from the Book of Job (Job 42: 1-3.5-6.12-17)
Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-donkeys. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first Jemimah; and the name of the second Keziah; and the name of the third Keren-happuch. And in all the land there were no women so fair as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers. And after this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. And Job died, an old man, and full of days.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 119:126.96.36.199.125.130 (R. 135a)
R/. O Lord, let your face shine forth on your servant.
Teach me good judgement and knowledge,
for I trust in your commands. R.
It was good for me to be humbled,
that I might learn your statutes. R.
O Lord, I know that your decrees are right;
though I am humbled, you are just. R.
Your judgements endure to this day,
for all things are your servants. R.
I am your servant; give me understanding:
then I shall know your decrees. R.
The unfolding of your word gives light,
and understanding to the simple. R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11:25
Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom. Alleluia.
”Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 10:17-24)
At that time: The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
The Gospel of the Lord
The beautiful story of Job poses several questions to us as we live in times where religious beliefs are not taken seriously and believers only seek a life devoid of suffering – a crossless Christianity, to put it simply. Job tells us that steadfast belief in God is a sure way of spiritual comfort in times of sorrow despite earthly suffering. Furthermore, we must learn that the spirit may flow anywhere it wishes; to some it’s a time for replenishment like Job, to some it is an avenue for signs and wonders like the disciples. The cases of Job and that of the disciples speak to us about having a fervent relationship with God that guarantees our place with our heavenly Father. Outward representation may be short-lived, but the inner satisfaction is so rewarding that it cannot be compared to the outward show.
As we celebrate the memorial of St Therese of Lisieux, the Patroness of the Missions, let us call to mind how she endured the crosses and sufferings that came on her way for the love of God, for missionaries all over the world and for the salvation of souls. She became a saint by practicing the ‘little way’: Loving and honouring God in perfectly child-like way and doing the ordinary things in life with extra-ordinary love. Our Blessed Mother Mary too endured all her sufferings with her Son and she is rewarded as the Queen of heaven and earth. Are we ready to endure suffering like Job, St Therese of Lisieux and our mother Mary?