Sunday, June 23, 2024

What do Job and the Apostles both discover? (Sunday homily)

Image from: Just a Catholic Blog

Since the Book of Job rarely gets read on Sunday,

This is a chance to fill in some details behind today’s reading.

At the beginning, Job has a good life, 

and he offers prayers and sacrifices to keep it that way.

What do you think? Do you and I ever operate that way?

“I’ve got a good life, so I’ll go to church and God will keep blessing me.”

The risk – for Job and for us – is this:

what happens when Job, or we, lose our good life?

When our health fails or everything goes south, like Job we ask: 

what did I do wrong? Why did this happen to me?

And here we come to something many don’t notice about Job:

He says to God, I want you to come here and tell me what I did wrong.

And God does come and speak to Job!

God agrees, Job did not commit any sin. 

Now we arrive at today’s reading, where God reveals his glory,

And after this, Job falls silent; he no longer has any complaint, 

even though he is still weighed down with pain and grief. 

Why does Job fall silent? What has changed for him?

Job has reached a new relationship with God:

He doesn’t worship from a distance, God is right there.

It isn’t about the good things of life. 

Now Job realizes, knowing God is the treasure.

So, now we jump ahead to Paul’s letter and to the Gospel.

Both Paul, speaking to the Corinthians, 

and the Apostles, speaking to each other,

are grappling with the same question: Who is this Jesus?

And the answer is, he’s the exact same treasure Job discovered.

I almost said what maybe you are thinking right now:

We can’t imagine what it is like to realize, as the Apostles did, 

that the Lord your God is sitting with you in your fishing boat.

But that’s not true! You and I do know what that is like!

Every time you and I come into this church, 

or drive by a Catholic church, we know: Jesus is right here.

So I can walk over here to the tabernacle, 

and I suppose this is about how close he was 

to the Apostles in that storm.

And while the Eucharist is the fullest reality of God present to us, there is more! 

All seven sacraments serve to make God present to us, as in that boat.

And each one of us, by virtue of our baptism, 

our confirmation, and of our maintaining communion with Jesus 

by prayer and seeking holiness, we too make God present to others.

Not the unique full, real presence of the Eucharist, 

but still, something real and powerful in our world.

Saint Paul tells the Corinthians: don’t miss the reality of what we have!

And today, I’m repeating that to you.

And let me say this to our young men:

When I talk to you about being a priest, you may wonder, 

why would I even think about that? Here’s the answer:

Everyone can share Jesus with the world.

Everyone can be as close to Jesus as the Apostles in the boat.

But someone has to take up the unique mission 

of offering the sacrifice of the Mass, 

Of lending your voice to speak absolution, 

freeing us from sins in the sacrament of confession, 

And letting Jesus use your hands to anoint and comfort us in sickness.

Jesus invited the Apostles to that special surrender and he invites you. 

When many of our fellow Christians gather on the Lord’s Day, 

the preacher will give an altar call, 

challenging everyone to wake up to God’s invitation, not later; now! 

That’s kind of what God is doing for Job and again, for the Apostles.

And, let’s face it, we often need the storm to focus their minds.

If you have no storms in your life, thank God!

But that might tempt you to think the invitation isn’t just as urgent.

Meet the One who commands the storms and supplies all we need.

Jesus himself is the treasure.

1 comment:

rcg said...

That chapter of Job is on my favorite with the first four being a fist pumping yeah!’ for humility. I hear it my head as God speaking to Job as a loving Father does to a frustrated adolescent or young adult.