Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,so that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and it is dyed like a garment.
Light is withheld from the wicked,
and their uplifted arm is broken."
Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
Surely you know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!"
Then Job answered the Lord:
"See, I am of small account
what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.I have spoken once,
and I will not answer
twice, but will proceed no further."
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you. R./
O where can I go from your spirit,
or where can I flee from your face?
If I climb the heavens, you are there.
If I lie in the grave you are there. R./
If I take the wings of the dawn
and dwell at the sea's furthest end,
even there your hand would lead me,
your right hand would hold me fast. R./
For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother's womb.
I thank you for the wonders of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation. (R./)
Jesus said to them, "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades.
"Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me."
Can we trust in the wisdom of God without really understanding why tragedies and disasters are allowed to happen? Today's passage from Job says "Yes" through the rhetorical questions God put to Job out of the stormy whirlwind. Because Job had questioned the truth of Divine Providence, he must be like a fellow-god: so God asks, "Have you walked about in the depths of the abyss? Do you know the way to the dwelling place of light? Do you command the morning light and show dawn its place?"
It is natural for people of faith to question God's wisdom in their times of darkness. Yet even when life's demands seem to overtax human strength, we are reminded how much we belong to God's family. Like the people crossing the desert, we too have some experience the goodness, even the miracles of God. In the gospel, Jesus reminds us again of these miracles and holds out to us, even during melancholy times in the life of our church, his promise of a new energy, with life transformed in the direction of justice, love and peace.
Jesus identifies himself very closely with his disciples. 'anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me.' The risen Lord continues to identify himself with his disciples today, with each one of us. Each of us is called to be a living sign of the Lord's presence. The Lord wants to be present in our world through each one of us. We have each received the extraordinary calling to be the Lord's ambassador in our world, to reveal his presence to others. We are all aware of our capacity to hide the Lord as well as reveal him. We can relate to others in ways that are not of the Lord. Yet, that does not stop the Lord from continuing to call us to be his presence to others. He continues to want to live in us, to speak and act through us. We are the members of his body. As he was present in Galilee and Judea in and through his physical body, he wishes to be present in our world today in and through his body, the church, and in and through each individual member of that body. He needs all of us if he is to be fully present because each of us can reveal a different facet of the Lord. As Saint Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, every member of the body of the church has a vital role to play in ensuring that Christ's body is fully alive.