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The Word Among Us

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

26th Week in Ordinary Time

“I could not believe that he would listen to me.” (Job 9:16)

Isn’t this a major problem peo­ple have with God? We know he is all-powerful and just. We know we are imperfect, and our under­standing is limited. Like Job, we pour out our hearts to the Lord, yet so often nothing seems to change. And when we don’t get the answer we expect, we are tempted to think that God hasn’t listened to us. With the psalmist we plead: “Help! Don’t hide your face from me.”

It took a while to get there, but God finally did speak to Job in chap­ters 38–41. What’s interesting is that he didn’t provide precise answers to Job’s questions. Instead, he asked Job a series of questions that left Job awestruck, penitent, and open to fresh blessings. This powerful encounter between God and one of his creatures moves the dialogue to a whole new level. God knows exactly what Job needs to hear in order for his faith to grow. The essential ques­tion isn’t whether God is listening. It’s whether Job is listening!

The notion of listening gets even more complicated because God is in the habit of responding to our questions in ways that only open up even more questions in our hearts.

Today’s Gospel passage is a clear example. Jesus enters into dia­logue with three would-be followers. Because he is listening not only to their words but to their hearts, he says not what each of them is expect­ing but precisely what each needs to hear. He shows them that the kind of discipleship he is asking of them is different from the noble intentions they are offering to him. And he does this by painting a powerful picture that clarifies how each person’s deci­sion should change his or her life.

It’s interesting that we never find out how these people respond. In a sense, we don’t have to. Jesus is con­tent to have us ponder his questions ourselves. His goal is not to give us mini-biographies of these people but to ask all of us to listen to him more deeply. When we enter into dialogue with the Lord, we don’t always get the answer we seek. But we always get an answer. So linger long enough to listen, and let his words of invita­tion pierce your heart.

“Jesus, I want to follow you. Show me what is holding me back from taking the next step.”

Psalm 88:10-15 Luke 9:57-62

31 posted on 10/03/2012 3:15:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for October 3, 2012:

On her wedding day, a bride listed ten of her husband’s faults she would overlook for the sake of their marriage. On their 50th Anniversary she revealed that she never actually made the list, but just kept overlooking irritations. Overlook a quibble today.

32 posted on 10/03/2012 3:21:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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