Lent with the Book of Job (Ch 32)
March 25, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.





Chapter 32 (Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent)

So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became angry. He was angry at Job because he justified himself rather than God; he was angry also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, though they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job, because they were older than he. But when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouths of these three men, he became angry. 

Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite answered:
‘I am young in years,
   and you are aged;
therefore I was timid and afraid
   to declare my opinion to you. 
I said, “Let days speak,
   and many years teach wisdom.” 

But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
   the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding. 
It is not the old that are wise,
   nor the aged that understand what is right. 
Therefore I say, “Listen to me;
   let me also declare my opinion.” 

‘See, I waited for your words,
   I listened for your wise sayings,
   while you searched out what to say. 
I gave you my attention,
   but there was in fact no one that confuted Job,
   no one among you that answered his words. 
Yet do not say, “We have found wisdom;
   God may vanquish him, not a human.” 
He has not directed his words against me,
   and I will not answer him with your speeches. 

‘They are dismayed, they answer no more;
   they have not a word to say. 
And am I to wait, because they do not speak,
   because they stand there, and answer no more? 
I also will give my answer;
   I also will declare my opinion. 
For I am full of words;
   the spirit within me constrains me. 
My heart is indeed like wine that has no vent;
   like new wineskins, it is ready to burst. 
I must speak, so that I may find relief;
   I must open my lips and answer. 
I will not show partiality to any person
   or use flattery towards anyone. 
For I do not know how to flatter—
   or my Maker would soon put an end to me!


Job, I ask you for a hearing; now it is my turn to tell you what I know. It is a characteristic of arrogant teachers that they are unable to present their teaching modestly, that they fail to serve as they should the truths which they hold. They make it plain by their words that when they are teaching they fancy themselves seated on some lofty place of eminence and they look down on their hearers standing far below them, on the lowest level, as persons who scarcely merit their domination, not to say their concern.
The words of the Lord through the Prophet are well directed at them: With force and harshness you have ruled them. For men rule with force and harshness when they are concerned not to correct those under them by calm reasoning but to bend them by harsh domination. 
Sound teaching, on the other hand, measures its earnestness in avoiding this sin of pride in thought by its eagerness to attack with its words the teacher of pride himself. It takes care not to proclaim him by an arrogant manner while it attacks him with pious words in the hearts of the hearers. It strives to preach in what it says and manifest in what it does, humility, the mistress and mother of all virtues, in order to commend this more by conduct than by words to those who are seeking the truth.
This is why Paul speaks as if he had forgotten the dignity of his own apostleship in his words to the Thessalonians: We were babes among you. Similarly the Apostle Peter says: Always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, and he adds, to emphasise that our teaching must be presented in the proper way: Yet do it with gentleness and reverence; and keep your conscience clear.

When Paul says to Titus: Command these things, teach them with all authority, he is not recommending the domination of power but the force of his disciple’s life. A man teaches with authority what he first practises himself before preaching to others, for when conscience is an obstacle to speech, what is taught is more difficult to accept. So then Paul is not recommending the power of haughty words but the trustworthiness which comes from good conduct. Our Lord too, we are told, taught as one who had authority, and not as the scribes and the Pharisees. He alone spoke with a unique authority because he had committed no sin from weakness. It was from the power of his divinity that he possessed that which he bestowed on us through the sinlessness of his humanity. (St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job)

Musical Selection (George Croly)

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.
I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of this veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no op’ning skies,
But take the dimness of my soul away.
Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
Oh, let me seek Thee, and, oh, let me find!
Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heav’n-descended Dove,

My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.


Almighty God,
let the working of your gentle mercy
direct the movement of our hearts,
for without your grace
we cannot find favour in your sight.
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.