Lent with the Book of Job (Ch 17)
March 10, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 17 (Friday of the Second Week of Lent)

My spirit is broken, my days are extinct,
   the grave is ready for me. 
Surely there are mockers around me,
   and my eye dwells on their provocation. 

‘Lay down a pledge for me with yourself;
   who is there that will give surety for me? 
Since you have closed their minds to understanding,
   therefore you will not let them triumph. 
Those who denounce friends for reward—
   the eyes of their children will fail. 

‘He has made me a byword of the peoples,
   and I am one before whom people spit. 
My eye has grown dim from grief,
   and all my members are like a shadow. 
The upright are appalled at this,
   and the innocent stir themselves up against the godless. 
Yet the righteous hold to their way,
   and they that have clean hands grow stronger and stronger. 
But you, come back now, all of you,
   and I shall not find a sensible person among you. 
My days are past, my plans are broken off,
   the desires of my heart. 
They make night into day;
   “The light”, they say, “is near to the darkness.” 
If I look for Sheol as my house,
   if I spread my couch in darkness, 
if I say to the Pit, “You are my father”,
   and to the worm, “My mother”, or “My sister”, 
where then is my hope?
   Who will see my hope? 
Will it go down to the bars of Sheol?
   Shall we descend together into the dust?’ 


You should know that it is impossible for all nature to break, destroy, or even touch anything without intending betterment for that which is touched. Not content with doing equal good, she always wants to do something better. How is that? A wise physician never touches a man's bad finger so as to hurt him unless he can make the finger better, or make the man generally better, or give him relief. If he can make the man or the finger better, he does so. If he cannot, he cuts off the finger to benefit the man. And it is much better to lose the finger and save the man than to let both perish. One loss is preferable to two, especially when one is so much greater than the other. One should also realize that the finger, the hand, or any limb loves the person it belongs to far more dearly than itself, and will willingly, happily, and without question endure pain for that person. I declare with assurance and in truth that such a member cares absolutely nothing for itself except for the sake of that, and in that, of which it is a member. Accordingly it would only be right and proper, and in conformity with our nature, if we loved ourselves solely for God's sake and in God. And if that were so, then everything would be easy and pleasant for us that God wanted from us and in us, especially if we realized that God could much less tolerate any lack or loss, if He did not know and intend a much greater advantage from it. Indeed, if a man has no trust in God on that score, it is quite right that he should have pain and sorrow.

Here is another consolation. St. Paul says that God chastens all whom He accepts and receives as sons (cf. Heb. 1 2: 6 ) . Sonship involves suffering. Because God's Son could not suffer in the Godhead and in eternity, the heavenly Father sent him into time, to become man and suffer. So, if you want to be God's son and yet do not want to suffer, you are wrong. In the Book of Wisdom it says that God proves and tests to find out who is righteous, as we prove and test gold by fire in a furnace (Wisd. 3 : 5-6). It is a sign that a king or a prince trusts a knight when he sends him into battle. I have seen one lord who sometimes, when he had taken a man into his retinue, would send him out by night and then attack him and fight with him. And once it happened that he was nearly killed by a man he wanted to test in this way; and he was much fonder of that retainer afterward than before. (Meister Eckhart; The Book of Divine Comfort)

Musical Selection (Thomas Tallis and William Byrd)


Libera me Domine, et pone me iuxta te:
et cuiusvis manus pugnet contra me.
Dies mei transierunt,
cogitationes meae dissipatae sunt,
torquentes cor meum.
Noctem verterunt in diem,
et rursum post tenebras spero lucem.

Deliver me, O Lord, and place me at thy side,
and let anyone’s hand contend against me.
My days have passed away,
my thoughts are dissipated,
tormenting my heart.
They have turned night into day,
and after darkness I hope again for light.


Purify us, almighty God, by this holy practice of penance,
that with hearts made fresh and whole
we may advance toward the solemn feast of our redemption.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.