Year B: 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Job 38: 1, 8-11
We often hear of “the patience of Job” - but the today’s reading is God’s response to Job’s impatience!
Job is, naturally, questioning why God has allowed all the evils that have befallen him - if God is good surely He does not want anyone to suffer? In reply, God does not try to explain - cajole - or even comfort. Instead God shows Job something of His power and might with an example which beautifully complements the Gospel.
If you have ever experienced a storm at or near to the sea, take yourself back in memory to that experience and that strange mix of fear and exhilaration which often goes with it.
Imagine the early days of life on earth as the great oceans broke on the coasts of the first great continents - until the land separated and seas poured in - as Australasia - Eurasia - the Americas - Africa - the Arctic and Antarctic - moved ever further apart with scatterings of islands in between.
Imagine the power of the ocean even at its most peaceful - and its terrifying ferocity as it seems to threaten to engulf the land...
And, in the midst of the storms and surges imagine that voice loud enough to be heard without shouting - a voice of power and might saying to the ocean waves: “Thus far - and no further!”
The words God speaks are powerful and poetic - try to read them (if only in your head!) so that you give them that quality. You may even like to risk standing in a storm by the water’s edge - and try reading them aloud. Your voice will be lost in the wind and the rain and the wave-breaks... but it will give you a sense of the awe-inspiring might of God whose voice rings our above the sounds of the storm - and whose hand set the bounds of the sea.
What does it mean for me?
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