Lent with the Book of Job (Ch 27)
March 20, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 27 (Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent)

Job again took up his discourse and said: 
‘As God lives, who has taken away my right,
   and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, 
as long as my breath is in me
   and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, 
my lips will not speak falsehood,
   and my tongue will not utter deceit. 
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
   until I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 
I hold fast my righteousness, and will not let it go;
   my heart does not reproach me for any of my days. 

‘May my enemy be like the wicked,
   and may my opponent be like the unrighteous. 
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off,
   when God takes away their lives? 
Will God hear their cry
   when trouble comes upon them? 
Will they take delight in the Almighty?
   Will they call upon God at all times? 
I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
   that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 
All of you have seen it yourselves;
   why then have you become altogether vain?

‘This is the portion of the wicked with God,
   and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty: 
If their children are multiplied, it is for the sword;
   and their offspring have not enough to eat. 
Those who survive them the pestilence buries,
   and their widows make no lamentation. 
Though they heap up silver like dust,
   and pile up clothing like clay— 
they may pile it up, but the just will wear it,
   and the innocent will divide the silver. 
They build their houses like nests,
   like booths made by sentinels of the vineyard. 
They go to bed with wealth, but will do so no more;
   they open their eyes, and it is gone. 
Terrors overtake them like a flood;
   in the night a whirlwind carries them off. 
The east wind lifts them up and they are gone;
   it sweeps them out of their place. 
It hurls at them without pity;
   they flee from its power in headlong flight. 
It claps its hands at them,
   and hisses at them from its place. 


Jesus is the immediate answer to Job because he shares his suffering and is the only one to do so. Suffering encloses a man in solitude, puts him outside communion with his fellow men. Between Job and his friends an abyss was cleft. They regarded him with astonishment as a strange being, as the sudden appearance of the unprecedented in the midst of the very ordinary, as one marked with a sacred sign. But they could no longer get to him. Only Jesus could cross this abyss…. And it is only because he has first shared the suffering of everyone who suffers that in him and by him every man who suffers can find communion with other men.

Jesus is furthermore the answer to Job because he gives a meaning to suffering. Not that he explains it, for it does not come within the sphere of explanation. But he puts it into the world of the supernatural. Suffering is the means whereby the righteous man may be reunited with the sinner. It exists in a sinful universe. But the suffering of the righteous shatters the logic of suffering and sin. It allows suffering to exist where sin does not exist; and because it is bound up with sin, by this very fact it allows the righteous man to take the load of sin upon himself and so to destroy sin. It allows the righteous man to enter into communion with sinners. Thus Jesus unveils the hidden meaning of Job’s suffering, a suffering which remained a mystery to Job himself.

Finally, Jesus is the answer to Job because he does away with his suffering. Suffering cannot be accepted any more than it can be explained. If love can cause someone to take suffering upon himself, it is the love therein alone that is lovable and its final purpose is to do away with suffering. The book of Job is in the end a book of hope…. Jesus took suffering upon himself in order to do away with suffering. More still, he descended into the lower region to reach the very root of evil, so that those who had been grafted thereon might be freed from evil. Thus the Resurrection of Christ is the supreme answer to the heart-rending cry of Job. (Cardinal Jean Daniélou; Holy Pagans of the Old Testament)

Musical Selection (Anglican Chant; Psalm 14)

The | fool hath | said || in his | heart : There | is no | God. 2 They are corrupt, and become abominable | in their | doings : there is none that doeth | good, | no not | one. 3 The Lord looked down from heaven upon the | children . of | men : to see if there were any that would under- | stand, and | seek . after | God. 4 But they are all gone out of the way, they are altogether be- | come a- | bominable : there is none that doeth | good, | no not | one. 5 Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues have | they de- | ceived : the poison of | asps is | under . their | lips. 6 Their mouth is full of | cursing . and | bitterness : their | feet are | swift to . shed | blood. 7 Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways, and the way of peace have | they not | known : there is no fear of | God be- | fore their | eyes. 8 Have they no knowledge, that they are all such | workers . of | mischief : eating up my people as it were bread, and | call . not up- | on the | Lord? 9 There were they brought in great fear, even where | no fear | was : for God is in the gener- | ation | of the | righteous. 10 As for you, ye have made a mock at the | counsel . of the | poor : because he | putteth . his | trust . in the | Lord. 11 Who shall give salvation unto Israel out of Sion? When the Lord turneth the captivity | of his | people, || then shall Jacob rejoice, and | Is-rael | shall be | glad. GLORIA


In the mystery of your saving plan, O God,
you wonderfully renew the world;
grant that your Church may be guided by your eternal decrees
and never lack your help here on earth.
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.