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

Man cannot defend himself against God

[1] Then Job answered:
[2] Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be just before God?
[3] If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
[4] He is wise in heart, and might in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
[5] he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger;
[6] who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
[7] who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
[8] who alone stretched out the heavens,
and trampled the waves of the sea;
[9] who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
[10] who does great things beyond understanding,
and marvellous things without number.
[11] Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, hut I do not perceive him.
[12] Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him?
Who will say to him, ‘What doest thou’?

[14] How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
[15] Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
[16] If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.


9:1-10:22. This new speech of Job’s takes up what Bildad has said about divine
justice (cf. 8:3, 20) and is a sort of direct appeal to God to act as a judge between
the two of them and to come down on Job’s side and vindicate him. Job makes
no mention here of the three friends. However, he speaks boldly, almost irrever-
ently, against God’s own way of operating, while staying within the bounds of or-
thodox teaching as regards the creative work and providence of the Lord – which
he contrasts with the way God ill-treats the human being (9:11-24); he ends by
lamenting the lowly position of man, who is quite unable to assess the probity of
God’s actions (9:25-35). The second part of the speech is a supplication similar
in content to that of his previous speech (cf. 7:16-21). Here Job complains that
God is treating him too harshly (10:1-7) despite the care he took in creating him
in the first place (10:8-12). He ends by begging God to leave him in peace and
not to be constantly causing him to suffer (10:15-22).

The use of terminology to do with a legal trial serves to emphasize that God does
not act in the way men do, and that human criteria cannot explain his actions.
On the contrary, human standards should be set in accordance with God’s way
of acting.

9:4. Wisdom and omnipotence are two divine attributes that are praised con-
stantly in the Psalms and wisdom books (cf. Ps 115:3; 135:5-6; Prov 8:22-31)
as guiding God’s actions both in creation and in salvation history. When discus-
sing the justice of God, St Thomas Aquinas says: “Justice can be corrupted in
two ways — by the cunning of the wise or the violence of the powerful. But since
in God is found perfect wisdom and omnipotence, his justice cannot he perverted
by his wisdom since he acts without guile, nor can it he harmed by his omnipo-
tence because he does not violently destroy what is just’’) Expositio super lob, 8,
3). But he goes on to say: “In both qualities God is greater than anyone else, for
his wisdom surpasses all human knowledge, and his power all human strength”
(ibid. 9, 4).

9:9. This reference to the constellations shows that God’s power embraces all
created things that our senses can perceive, such as mountains, stars, the hea-
vens, the seas, including those entities of a mythological type regarded by Israel’s
neighbours as divinities.

The Fathers often stressed that this verse 9 and also 38:31-32 show that all
things, even those which some people thought had power over men, were created
by God and are subject to his rule. Thus, St Gregory of Nyssa, in his controversy
against the Arians, taught that the names of the constellations do not imply that
they have any power over human beings: “God has not only counted the number
of the stars, he knows each one of them by name. This means that his knowledge
extends even to the smallest of things, and he knows each thing as intimately as
he does man” (Contra Eunomium, 2, 435-436). Quite clearly. God is above every-

The names of the stars, the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, which derive from
Greek mythology, are used in the Greek version and in the Vulgate to translate
the Ais, Quesil, Qimah of the Hebrew — names that come from Babylonian my-
thology. The “chambers of the south” refer to another constellation not found in
Greek mythology.

9:13. “Rahab” is a mythical figure of evil, connected with the sea (cf. 26:12) and
sometimes used to symbolize Egypt (cf. Is 30:7).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 10/02/2012 10:28:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 9:57-62

The Calling of Three Disciples

[57] As they were going along the road, a man said to Him (Jesus), “I will follow
you wherever You go.” [58] 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.” [59] To
another He said, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my fa-
ther.” [60] But He said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for
you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” [61] Another said, “I will follow You,
Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” [62] Jesus said to him,
“No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the Kingdom
of God.”


57-62. Our Lord spells out very clearly what is involved in following Him. Being
a Christian is not an easy or comfortable affair: it calls for self-denial and for put-
ting God before everything else. See the notes on Matthew 8:18-22 and Matthew

[The notes on Matthew 8:18-22 states:

18-22. From the very outset of His messianic preaching, Jesus rarely stays in
the same place; He is always on the move. He “has nowhere to lay His head”
(Matthew 8:20). Anyone who desires to be with him has to “follow Him”. This
phrase “following Jesus” has a very precise meaning: it means being His disci-
ple (cf. Matthew 19:28). Sometimes the crowds “follow Him”; but Jesus’ true
disciples are those who “follow Him” in a permanent way, that is, who keep on
following Him: being a “disciple of Jesus” and “following Him” amount to the
same thing. After our Lord’s ascension, “following Him” means being a Chris-
tian (cf Acts 8:26). By the simple and sublime fact of Baptism, every Christian
is called, by a divine vocation, to be a full disciple of our Lord, with all that that

The evangelist here gives two specific cases of following Jesus. In the case of
the scribe our Lord explains what faith requires of a person who realizes that he
has been called; in the second case—that of the man who has already said “yes”
to Jesus—He reminds him of what His commandment entails. The soldier who
does not leave his position on the battlefront to bury his father, but instead leaves
that to those in the rearguard, is doing his duty. If service to one’s country makes
demands like that on a person, all the more reason for it to happen in the service
of Jesus Christ and His Church.

Following Christ, then, means we should make ourselves totally available to Him;
whatever sacrifice He asks of us we should make: the call to follow Christ means
staying up with Him, not falling behind; we either follow Him or lose Him. In the
Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus explained what following Him involves
— a teaching which we find summarized in even the most basic catechism of
Christian doctrine: a Christian is a man who believes in Jesus Christ — a faith he
receives at Baptism — and is duty bound to serve Him. Through prayer and friend-
ship with the Lord every Christian should try to discover the demands which this
service involves as far as he personally is concerned.]

[The notes on Matthew 8:22 states:

22. “Leave the dead to bury their own dead”: although this sounds very harsh, it
is a style of speaking which Jesus did sometimes use: here the “dead” clearly
refers to those whose interest is limited to perishable things and who have no
aspirations towards the things that last forever.

“If Jesus forbade him,” St. John Chrysostom comments, “it was not to have us
neglect the honor due to our parents, but to make us realize that nothing is more
important than the things of Heaven and that we ought to cleave to these and not
to put them off even for a little while, though our engagements be ever so indis-
pensable and pressing” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 27).]

We see here the case of the man who wanted to follow Christ, but on one condi-
tion—that he be allowed to say goodbye to his family. Our Lord, seeing that he
is rather undecided, gives him an answer which applies to all of us, for we have
all received a calling to follow Him and we have to try not to receive this grace in
vain. “We receive the grace of God in vain, when we receive it at the gate of our
heart, and do not let it enter our heart. We receive it without receiving it, that is,
we receive it without fruit, since there is no advantage in feeling the inspiration
if we do not accept it [...]. It sometimes happens that being inspired to do much
we consent not to the whole inspiration but only to some part of it, as did those
good people in the Gospel, who upon the inspiration which our Lord gave them
to follow Him wished to make reservations, the one to go first and bury his father,
the other to go to take leave of his people” (St. Francis de Sales, “Treatise on
the Love of God”, Book 2, Chapter 11).

Our loyalty and fidelity to the mission God has given us should equip us to deal
with every obstacle we meet: “There is never reason to look back (cf. Luke 9:62).
The Lord is at our side. We have to be faithful and loyal; we have to face up to
our obligations and we will find in Jesus the love and the stimulus we need to
understand other people’s faults and overcome our own” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ
Is Passing By”, 160).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 10/02/2012 10:30:21 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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