Lent with the Book of Job (Ch 12)
March 05, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 12 (Second Sunday of Lent)

Then Job answered: 
‘No doubt you are the people,
   and wisdom will die with you. 
But I have understanding as well as you;
   I am not inferior to you.
   Who does not know such things as these? 
I am a laughing-stock to my friends;
   I, who called upon God and he answered me,
   a just and blameless man, I am a laughing-stock. 
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,
   but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable. 
The tents of robbers are at peace,
   and those who provoke God are secure,
   who bring their god in their hands. 

‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
   the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 
ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
   and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 
Who among all these does not know
   that the hand of the Lord has done this? 
In his hand is the life of every living thing
   and the breath of every human being. 
Does not the ear test words
   as the palate tastes food? 
Is wisdom with the aged,
   and understanding in length of days?

‘With God are wisdom and strength;
   he has counsel and understanding. 
If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
   if he shuts someone in, no one can open up. 
If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
   if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land. 
With him are strength and wisdom;
   the deceived and the deceiver are his. 
He leads counsellors away stripped,
   and makes fools of judges. 
He looses the sash of kings,
   and binds a waistcloth on their loins. 
He leads priests away stripped,
   and overthrows the mighty. 
He deprives of speech those who are trusted,
   and takes away the discernment of the elders. 
He pours contempt on princes,
   and looses the belt of the strong. 
He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
   and brings deep darkness to light. 
He makes nations great, then destroys them;
   he enlarges nations, then leads them away. 
He strips understanding from the leaders of the earth,
   and makes them wander in a pathless waste. 
They grope in the dark without light;
   he makes them stagger like a drunkard. 

He who is mocked by his neighbour, as I am, will call upon God and he will answer him. Often, the frail mind, acclaimed for its good actions by the breath of human regard, dissipates itself in outward delights, so that it lays aside what it inwardly desires and is willing to lie loosely in the external things to which it directs its attention. It delights not so much in becoming, as in being called, blessed; and because it longs for the words of applause, it ceases to strive after what it had begun to be; and so, the very means through which it appeared to be commendable in God, sever it from God.
But sometimes it perseveres in good works with a constant heart, and yet is pushed hard by the scoffing of men; it does admirable deeds, and gets only abuse; and he who might have been encouraged to come out of himself by commendation, is repulsed by insults and returns back again into himself. He establishes himself the more firmly in God, as he finds no place else where he may rest in peace: for all his hope is fixed in his Creator. Amidst ridicule and abuse, he implores only the interior witness. His soul in distress becomes God’s neighbour, in proportion as he is a stranger to the favour of man’s esteem. So he pours himself out in prayer and, hard-pressed from without, is refined with a more perfect purity to enter more deeply into all that is interior. Therefore, it is well said at this time, He who is mocked by his neighbour as I am, will call upon God and he will answer him. For though the wicked reproach the soul of the good, yet the good are showing them whom to seek as witness of their actions. And while the soul of the good strengthens itself, with compunction, in prayer, it is united within itself in the hearing of the Most High, in the very act that severs it from the approval of men outside itself.
But we should note how thoughtfully are inserted the words as I am. For there are some men who are downcast at the ridicule of their fellowmen; and yet they are not the kind of men to be heard by the ears of God. For when they are ridiculed because of their sin, surely they gain no virtuous merit from that mocking.
For the upright man’s simplicity is laughed to scorn. It is the wisdom of this world to conceal one’s feelings with pretence, to veil the sense with words, to show things that are false as true, and to make out as fallacious what is true. But on the other hand it is the wisdom of the righteous to pretend nothing in show, to discover the meaning by words, to love the truth as it is, to avoid falsehood, to set forth good deeds freely, to bear evil more gladly than to do it, to seek no revenge of a wrong, to count ill repute as a gain for the truth’s sake. But this simplicity of the righteous is laughed to scorn, because the goodness of purity is taken for folly by the wise men of this world. For doubtless everything that is done from innocence is counted foolish by them, and whatever truth sanctions in practice sounds weak to carnal wisdom. (St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job).
Musical Selection (Mary Louise Bringle)


When memory fades and recognition falters, 

When eyes we love grow dim, And minds confused,

Speak to our souls of love that never alters; 

Speak to our hearts by pain and fear abused. 

O God of life and healing peace,

Empower us with patient courage, by your grace infused. 


As the frailness grows, and youthful strengths diminish,

In weary arms, which worked their earnest fill.

Your aging  servants labor now to finish....

Their earthly tasks as fits your mystery's will.

We grieve their waning, yet rejoice, believing,

Your arms, unwearied, shall uphold us still.


Within your spirit, goodness lives unfading.

The past and future mingle into one.

All joys remain, un-shadowed light pervading.

No valued deed will ever be undone.

Your mind enfolds all finite acts and offerings.

Held in your heart, our deathless life is won.

Holy God,
from the dazzling cloud
you revealed Jesus in glory
as your beloved Son.
During these forty days
enlighten your Church with the bright glory of your presence.
Inspire us by your word
and so transform us into the image of the risen Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
holy and mighty God for ever and ever. Amen.