Saint Jerome, memorial
Job 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5
Only if Job is himself divine, with the knowledge of hidden things, can he challenge God.
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and it is dyed like a garment.
Light is withheld from the wicked,
and their uplifted arm is broken.”
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
“Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
Surely you know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
Then Job answered the Lord:
“See, I am of small account
what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.I have spoken once,
and I will not answer
twice, but will proceed no further.”
Gospel: Luke 10:13-16
Tyre and Sidon would have repented, had they seen the miracles done by Jesus
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.
“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
In time of darkness
Can one trust in the wisdom of God without really understanding why certain things are allowed to happen? Today’s passage from Job says “Yes” through the rhetorical questions God put to Job out of the stormy whirlwind. Because Job had questioned the truth of Divine Providence, he must be like a fellow-god: so God asks, “Have you walked about in the depths of the abyss? Do you know the way to the dwelling place of light? Do you command the morning light and show dawn its place?”
It is natural for people of faith to question God’s wisdom in their times of darkness. Yet even when life’s demands seem to overtax human strength, we are reminded how much we belong to God’s family. Like the people crossing the desert, we too have some experience the goodness, even the miracles of God. In the gospel, Jesus reminds us again of these miracles and holds out to us, even during melancholy times in the life of our church, his promise of a new energy, with life transformed in the direction of justice, love and peace.
He identifies with us
In this morning’s powerful phrase, Jesus identifies himself very closely with his disciples. ‘anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me.’ The risen Lord continues to identify himself with his disciples today, with each one of us. Each of us is called to be a living sign of the Lord’s presence. The Lord wants to be present in our world through each one of us. We have each received the extraordinary calling to be the Lord’s ambassador in our world, to reveal his presence to others. We are all aware of our capacity to hide the Lord as well as reveal him. We can relate to others in ways that are not of the Lord. Yet, that does not stop the Lord from continuing to call us to be his presence to others. He continues to want to live in us, to speak and act through us. We are the members of his body. As he was present in Galilee and Judea in and through his physical body, he wishes to be present in our world today in and through his body, the church, and in and through each individual member of that body. He needs all of us if he is to be fully present because each of us can reveal a different facet of the Lord. As Saint Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, every member of the body of the church has a vital role to play in ensuring that Christ’s body is fully alive. [MH]
St Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church.
Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus (347-420) from Stridon, modern Albania, was a priest, theologian and historian, who wrote many works of biblical scholarship while living a quasi-monastic life in Bethlehem. At the request of pope Damasus he translated the Bible into the Latin version (the Vulgate), which for more than fifteen centuries was normative in the Latin (Western) church.