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From: Job 19:21-27

Despite everything, Job trusts in God

[19] All my intimate friends abhor me,
amid those whom I loved have turned against me.
[20] My bones cleave to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
[21] Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me!
[22] Why do you, like God, pursue me?
Why are you not satisfied with my flesh?

[23] Oh that my words were written!
Oh that they were inscribed in a book!
[24] Oh that with an iron pen and lead
they were graven in the rock for ever!
[25] For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at last he will stand upon the earth;
[26] and after my skin has been thus destroyed,
then from my flesh I shall see God,
[27] whom I shall see on my side,
and my eyes shall behold, and not another.
My heart faints within me!


19:21-22. This appeal to the three friends uses the same wording as used in the
Psalms with reference to God: “Be merciful to me, O God, he merciful to me”
(Ps 57:1; cf. 9:13; 31:9) etc. Job begs his friends to take pity on him in his mis-
fortune and not torment him by leveling accusations as if putting themselves in
the place of God. Genuine friendship implies kindness: “Mercy is the overflow of
charity, which brings with it also an overflow of justice. Mercy means keeping
one’s heart totally alive, throbbing in a way that is both human and divine, with a
love that is strong, self-sacrificing and generous (St Josemaria Escrivá, “Friends
of God”, 232).

19:25. “I know that my Redeemer lives.” As in 16:19, there is the idea of an ex-
traordinary being coming to Job’s rescue. But in the earlier speech this perso-
nage was a witness for the defence in a lawsuit. Here, however, the redeemer
(goel in Hebrew: cf. the note on Ruth 2:18-23) has an institutional meaning: ac-
cording to the Law and to tradition the goel was the closest family relative, the
person on whom it was incumbent to defend infringed rights, sometimes by re-
claiming property unjustly seized, sometimes by redeeming the relative from
slavery, and even avenging his death (cf. Ex 6:6; Lev 25:23, 47; Num 35:21).
God is given the title of goel in passages that interpret the return from exile in
Babylon as a form of redemption carried out in an exceptionally remarkable
way (cf. Is 59:20; 60:16; 63:16; Jer 50:34).

Job solemnly proclaims his faith in his goel. It is surprising that he should apply
this title to God, given that he is the one who has ill-treated and humiliated him,
and it is not clear how he could be both offender and redeemer. However, God
can be depicted as both, because in his profound inner tension Job appeals to
God for help almost at the very same time as he makes complaint against Him
(cf. 16:7-9, 21-22). In spite of its being God who has so incomprehensibly inflic-
ted suffering on him, God is still the living God, the only one who can change
the situation, if he so wills, and rehabilitate Job in the eyes of his friends. In
that sense he is Job’s god. Besides, it was common practice of Jews to call
on God as their goel in that period.

In line with rabbinical interpretation, St Jerome translated this term in the Vul-
gate as “Redemptor”, and from then on Christian tradition on interpreted it to
mean the Messiah, more specifically, the risen Messiah who lives forever as
mankind’s Redeemer. St Thomas, taking up this ancient tradition, commented:
“Man, who was created as immortal by God, brought death to himself through
sin, as we are told in Romans 5:12 [...]; only through Christ could mankind he
redeemed from that sin, and this is what Job perceived with the eyes of faith.
Christ redeemed us from sin by dying for us […]. Mankind itself has been re-
stored to its fullness by being raised back to life […], and the life of the Risen
Christ will he given to all men on the day of resurrection” (”Epositio super Iob”,
19, 15). And St Gregory, in his time, wrote: “Even those who are not numbered
among the faithful know that Christ was scourged and jeered, that he suffered
many blows and was crowned with thorns, spat upon, crucified and put to death.
But I believe with certainty that he lives beyond death: I freely confess that my
Saviour, who died at the hands of evil men, lives” “Moralia in lob”, 3, 14, 54.)

“At last he will stand up on the earth [or dust]”. What Job probably means is
that God’s judgment is the one which matters; compared with it all human judg-
ments are like dust. God, who is in heaven (cf. 16:19), is the only one who,
because he endures for ever, judges calmly and dispassionately.

On the basis of the Vulgate translation, which reads, “in the last day I shall rise
out of the earth’’, Christian tradition has read these words as an announcement
of the resurrection of the dead at the end of time which is a sharing in Christ’s
resurrection: “As [God] the Father possesses all life in himself, so he allowed
the Son to possess life perfectly. Therefore, the first cause of the resurrection
of men is the life of the Son of God” (St Thomas, “Expositio super lob”, 19, 25).
St Gregory the Great puts it more simply: ‘’Our Saviour died so that we would
no longer need to live in fear of death, and he rose from the dead so that we
could put our trust in the hope of resurrection (”Moralia in lob”, 3, 14, 55).

19:26. As the RSV note says, the original text is open to various interpretations,
particularly the second part, “from my flesh I shall see God’’. The Spanish [and
RSV], which keep close to the Hebrew, implies that Job expects to confront God
directly that is, see God) despite his own great weakness. The New Vulgate a-
dapts the Vulgate to bring it closer to the Hebrew: the Vulgate on this point inter-
preted how the resurrection of the dead would work: “I shall be clothed again with
my skin, and in my flesh I shall see my God.’’ In line with that interpretation, the
text has often been used in the tradition of the Church in connexion with the doc-
trine of the resurrection of the dead. For example, St Clement of Rome uses it to
remind the faithful of Corinth about the promise of future resurrection; and he com-
ments: “Therefore, with this hope we unite our souls to the One who is faithful to
his promises and just in all his judgments. He who commanded us not to lie will
not himself tell a lie; deception is the only thing that is impossible to God’’ (”Ad
Corinthios”, 26).

However, even if Job were not speaking explicitly about the resurrection at the
end of time, he clearly desires to enter into a very close relationship with God:
He is his redeemer. He is the author of life, and He endures forever. Job hopes
to retain a hold on life and see God “with (his) eyes” (cf. v. 27) and converse per-
sonally with Him and not with a stranger, as it were (”and not another”). The
passage, therefore, is a great canticle of hope in everlasting life, spoken from
the depths of misery.

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 10/03/2012 8:26:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

The Mission of the Seventy Disciples

[1] After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him,
two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. [2]
And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray there-
fore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. [3] Go your way;
behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. [4] Carry no purse, no
bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. [5] Whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ [6] And if a son of peace is there, your peace
shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. [7] And remain in the same
house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages;
do not go from house to house. [8] Whenever you enter a town and they receive
you, eat what is set before you; [9] heal the sick in it and say to them, “The King-
dom of God has come near to you.’ [10] But whenever you enter a town and they
do not receive you, go into its streets and say, [11] ‘Even the dust of your town
that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the
Kingdom of God has come near.’ [12] I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that
day for Sodom than for that town.”


1-12. Those who followed our Lord and received a calling from Him (cf. Luke 9:57-
62) included many other disciples in addition to the Twelve (cf. Mark 2:15). We do
not know who most of them were; but undoubtedly some of them were with Him
all along, from when Jesus was baptized by John up to the time of His ascension
—for example, Joseph called Barrabas, and Matthias (cf. Acts 1:21-26). We can
also include Cleopas and his companion, whom the risen Christ appeared to on
the road to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-35).

From among these disciples, our Lord chooses seventy-two for a special assign-
ment. Of them, as of the Apostles (cf. Luke 9:1-5), He demands total detachment
and complete abandonment to divine providence.

From Baptism onwards every Christian is called by Christ to perform a mission.
Therefore, the Church, in our Lord’s name, “makes to all the laity an earnest ap-
peal in the Lord to give a willing, noble and enthusiastic response to the voice of
Christ, who at this hour is summoning them more pressingly, and to the urging
of the Holy Spirit. The younger generation should feel this call to be addressed
in a special way to themselves; they should welcome it eagerly and generously.
It is the Lord Himself, by this Council, who is once more inviting all the laity to
unite themselves to Him ever more intimately, to consider His interests as their
own (cf. Philippians 2:5), and to join in His mission as Savior. It is the Lord who
is again sending them into every town and every place where He Himself is to
come (cf. Luke 10:1). He sends them on the Church’s apostolate, an apostolate
that is one yet has different forms and methods, an apostolate that must all the
time be adapting itself to the needs of the moment; He sends them on an apos-
tolate where they are to show themselves His cooperators, doing their full share
continually in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord their labor cannot be
lost (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58)” (Vatican II, “Apostolicam Actuositatem”, 33).

3-4. Christ wants to instill apostolic daring into His disciples; this is why He says,
“I send you out”, which leads St. John Chrysostom to comment: “This suffices to
give us encouragement, to give us confidence and to ensure that we are not afraid
of our assailants” (”Hom. on St. Matthew”, 33). The Apostles’ and disciples’ bold-
ness stemmed from their firm conviction that they were on a God-given mission:
they acted, as Peter the Apostle confidently explained to the Sanhedrin, in the
name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, “for there is no other name under heaven by
which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

“And the Lord goes on,” St. Gregory the Great adds, “Carry no purse, no bag, no
sandals; and salute no one on the road.’ Such should be the confidence the prea-
cher places in God that even if he is not provided with the necessities of life, he
is convinced that they will come his way. This will ensure that worry about provi-
ding temporal things for himself does not distract him from providing others with
eternal things” (”In Evangelia Homiliae”, 17). Apostolate calls for generous self-
surrender which leads to detachment; therefore, Peter, following our Lord’s com-
mandment, when the beggar at the Beautiful Gate asked him for alms (Acts 3:2-
3), said, “I have no silver or gold” (”ibid.”, 3:6), “not so as to glory in his poverty”,
St. Ambrose points out, “but to obey the Lord’s command. It is as if he were sa-
ying, ‘You see in me a disciple of Christ, and you ask me for gold? He gave us
something much more valuable than gold, the power to act in His name. I do not
have what Christ did not give me, but I do have what He did give me: In the name
of Jesus Christ, arise and walk’ (cf. Acts 3:6)” (”Expositio Evangelii Sec. Lucam,
in loc”.). Apostolate, therefore, demands detachment from material things and it
also requires us to be always available, for there is an urgency about apostolic

“And salute no one on the road”: “How can it be”, St. Ambrose asks himself,
“that the Lord wishes to get rid of a custom so full of kindness? Notice, however,
that He does not just say, ‘Do not salute anyone’, but adds, ‘on the road.’ And
there is a reason for this.

“He also commanded Elisha not to salute anyone he met, when He sent him to
lay his staff on the body of the dead child (2 Kings 4:29): He gave him this order
so as to get him to do this task without delay and effect the raising of the child,
and not waste time by stopping to talk to any passerby he met. Therefore, there
is no question of omitting good manners to greet others; it is a matter of remo-
ving a possible obstacle in the way of service; when God commands, human
considerations should be set aside, at least for the time being. To greet a per-
son is a good thing, but it is better to carry out a divine instruction which could
easily be frustrated by a delay (”ibid.”).

6. Everyone is “a son of peace” who is disposed to accept the teaching of the
Gospel which brings with it God’s peace. Our Lord’s recommendation to His di-
sciples to proclaim peace should be a constant feature of all the apostolic ac-
tion of Christians: “Christian apostolate is not a political program or a cultural
alternative. It implies the spreading of good, ‘infecting’ others with a desire to
love, sowing peace and joy” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 124).

Feeling peace in our soul and in our surroundings is an unmistakable sign that
God is with us, and a fruit of the Holy Spirit (cf. Galatians 5:22): “Get rid of these
scruples that deprive you of peace. What takes away your peace of soul cannot
come from God. When God comes to you, you will feel the truth of those gree-
tings: My peace I give to you..., peace I leave you..., peace be with you..., and
you will feel it even in the midst of troubles” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 258).

7. Our Lord clearly considered poverty and detachment a key feature in an apos-
tle. But He was aware of His disciples’ material needs and therefore stated the
principle that apostolic ministry deserves its recompense. Vatican II reminds us
that we all have an obligation to contribute to the sustenance of those who ge-
nerously devote themselves to the service of the Church: “Completely devoted
as they are to the service of God in the fulfillment of the office entrusted to them,
priests are entitled to receive a just remuneration. For ‘the laborer deserves his
wages’ (Luke 10:7), and ‘the Lord commanded that they who proclaim the Gos-
pel should get their living by the Gospel’ (1 Corinthians 9:14). For this reason, in-
sofar as provision is not made from some other source for the just remuneration
of priests, the faithful are bound by a real obligation of seeing to it that the neces-
sary provision for a decent and fitting livelihood for the priests are available” (Va-
tican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 20).

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 10/03/2012 8:31:17 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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