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Saturday – Twenty-sixth Week – OT2
Readings: Job 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-16; Lk 10:17-24.
1/ First Reading: NAB Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. 3 I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know. 4 5 I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you. 6 Therefore I disown what I have said and repent in dust and ashes. 12 Thus the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his earlier ones. For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. 13 And he had seven sons and three daughters, 14 of whom he called the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no other women were as beautiful as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren. 16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren.
2/ Gospel: NAB Luke 10:17 The seventy (-two) returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” 18 Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. 19 Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” 21 At that very moment he rejoiced (in) the holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” 23 Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
I. THEME: Blessed are those who know God.
People like to invest in what shall bring immediate results such as: stocks, housing, even quails; but not many like to invest in learning about God because they don’t recognize benefits of knowing God and the waiting time shall be long. They consider the worshipping of God is a duty instead of a privilege; therefore, they missed many opportunities to produce benefits for their souls.
Today readings show us many benefits resulting from knowing God. In the first reading, Job, after a long and painful period of searching for a reason of his sufferings, met God and heard His explanation. After that, Job repented of what he said, and God gave him back and even more than of what Satan took away from him. In the Gospel, Jesus showed the benefits of being his disciples: they were given power over evil spirits; their names were written in heaven, and they can understand many of God’s mysteries.
1/ Reading I: “I disown what I have said and repent in dust and ashes.”
(1) Job recognized his wrong reasoning: In order for one’s advice or suggestion be right and useful; one needs to be an expert in that field. It is foolish when one has no knowledge about area to give advice to others. Job recognized his foolish reasoning before God when He questioned him about His creation and providence, so he said to God, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know.”
There is a textual difficulty in verse 3 which led to different versions. The NAB version omitted the first part of verse 3 which existed in both the Septuagint and the MT version. The RSV version had it and translated as: “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?” This translation follows the MT version and isn’t also clear because it doesn’t include the accusative “se” in the LXX which should be the genitive “sou,” and translated as, “Who is this that hides your plan without knowledge?” The Vietnamese translation (PVCGK) is also wrong because it uses “mou” instead of “sou” and adds more words to it.
If one follows the context, this verse is both Job’s question and answer. He is the one that hid God’s plan without knowledge because he gave advise (to God) without knowledge of His creation and providence. The second part of verse 3 is his answer to his question.
(2) Job humbly repented in dust and ashes: Facing a mistake, people may have two different attitudes: either they humbly repent and ask for forgiveness or stubbornly remain in their wrongfulness. Job chose the first attitude when he confessed to God: “I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore, I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes.” Here, Job taught us a lesson: We can hear or learn about God from others; but to firmly believe in God, we ourselves must come to Him to learn, to feel and to love Him.
(3) Job was blessed by God: God gave back to Job more blessings than before he was tempted by Satan. He gave him a great number of cattle and ten children. He lived a long life with his descendants until four generations. God blessed Job because he showed his faith in Him. Job demonstrated that Satan was wrong, he didn’t curse God even though God permitted Satan to take away all what he had. Though he complained about his fate, cursed his birthday and wanted to die; but he never blasphemed God. He did all of the above things because he didn’t understand the values of sufferings in God’s providence.
2/ Gospel: Blessed are those who were received as Christ’s disciples.
Who among us doesn’t want to be a disciple of a most wise and powerful master; but many people, especially today young people, refuse to be disciples of the most wise and powerful person in the universe. Today Gospel shows us the privileges which Christ gives to his disciples.
(1) They have power over all powers, even the evil spirits’ power: People are afraid of the devils, but Jesus’ disciples have power over them because Jesus himself gave them that power. Jesus’ disciples were the witnesses of these power through St. Luke’s report: “The seventy (two) returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.” Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. Behold, I have given you the power ‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.”
(2) Their names are written in heaven: The rewards that a disciple receives in this world, though a great reward as God gave to Job or the disciples’ powers over all forces of the world, can’t be compared with the reward which God shall give to them in heaven because it is eternal and included all other rewards. Jesus reminded his disciples of this reward, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” A danger which Jesus also wanted to remind his disciple is that if they pay too much attention to the reward of this world, they shall neglect the next life’s reward.
(3) They can understand God’s mysteries: The understanding of God’s mysteries doesn’t depend on human wisdom, but on the humble attitude to recognize one’s lowly status before God. Jesus, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, joyfully revealed this secret for his disciples: “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Jesus’ revelation happened, is happening and shall happen to the end of the world. Many of the wise and the learned don’t understand and believe what are so obvious to the faithful. The reason for their unbelief isn’t because God hides these things from them; but because of their pride puts a cover over their mind so that they can’t recognize what God wants to tell them. The rich can’t also understand because they think that they already have all things and have no need of God.
III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:
– When we don’t understand about God, we are easy to be prideful and believe in ourselves. A full understanding about God shall help us to recognize our lowliness and to proper behave before God.
– When we don’t understand what happens in our life, we shouldn’t hastily blame on God that He doesn’t have power or love. Our proper attitude is to humbly ask God for understanding and are ready to follow His will even without understanding of the reason. We shall understand these things on the Last Day.
– There is no earthly reward can be compared with the understanding of God. He creates, loves and controls everything so we shall be happily lived with Him in heaven for ever.